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Talisman


Quetzal: you write
           the word on a sheet of paper
                       then erase it;

each word, a talisman,
           leaves a track: a magpie
                       struts across a portal

and vanishes from sight;
           when you bite into sea urchin,
                       ocean currents burst

in your mouth; and when
           you turn, gaze at the white shutters
                       to the house,

up the canyon, a rainbow
           arcs into clouds;
                       expectancies, fears, yearnings—

hardly bits of colored glass
           revolving in a kaleidoscope:
                       mist rising from a hot spring

along a river; suddenly
           you are walking toward Trinity Site
                       looking for glass

and counting minutes
           of exposure under the sun;
                       suddenly small things ignite.


Arthur Sze

Plume

Issue 71 - 2017


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