Arthur Sze

Issue #
September 27, 2015

The Radius of Touch

Rising over granite cliffs in an aerial tram,
we view the rippling lights of Albuquerque
and volcanoes to the west. At the summit,

the circumference of peaks dissolves
when I blink; and here I am, at a point
where all lines diverge. In the leafless dark,

I can’t spot the branches of the golden
rain tree; in the kingdom of touch,
a candle flickers then steadies flame.

Some days are wind-blown sand stinging
my eyes; others, rice grains in a glass jar.
As matsutake mycelium mantles the roots

of red pine, our cries enmesh each other.
Suspended on cables, we rise up through
the moist darkening air, but the molten

wax of this space dissolves distance.
In the kingdom of scents, the chanterelle
patch we stumbled into flowers again,

and, when I blink, all lines converge.

Selected from Compass Rose (Copper Canyon Press 2015)

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