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The Leaving

If you should go

Soft as midnight petal

Or the secret moon’s eclipse;

A flame that slays itself

Or pride turned pure in suffering,

Surely the heart will be undone.

If you should go,

Quietly taking such winds

As menace joyously, peeling

The thought within each seed,

Thus silence the womb’s last hope,

Surely certainties must break.

If you should go,

Dispersing invention, sap and root,

Those theorems which prime the eye,

Which calculate the gentleness of touch,

Making giving greater than receiving,

Surely the sun shall slip.

If you should go

Leave, leave rich tokens

No others can ever know,

A covenant of undivided light

Awaiting one return,

If you should go.


I want to feel pure the wind

Glazed by dark narrating shadows

Among casuarinas tempered by sea-salt.

I want to see brown the hawk

Unrelenting beautiful death-dealing

Break open the unsuspecting sky.

I want to hear forked the tongue

From an uncoiling body tracking

Lusty crickets in the loam.

I want to touch blue the haze

Dimming Karimon, over-reach

Unknotted slopes to possible mysteries.

I want to taste sharp the petai

Straight from the curling pod

To hold the village in my mouth.

I want these five beginnings.