To Admire Blue Horses
“This is the day when members of the nobility who live outside the Palace arrive in the magnificently decorated carriages to admire the blue horses.”
—The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon translated by Ivan Morris
“I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on?”
—KJV: Song of Solomon 5:3
When I sleep in blind August,
I dream of you holding an unripe apricot
in one hand, the other steadying a child
clinging to your legs, his eyes
as wide as Europe.
A winter-blue horse,
covered in bells without tongues,
follows in the distance.
He watches us watching him
and then moves forward.
Your mouth moves,
but I cannot understand the words.
I wake weeping.
My hands, now rare as birds,
are caught before my face, struggling with my eyes,
arguing against my neck. All because you
have wrapped yourself in a great egret silence
and have walked out into a night
without words, flying against a slidell moon,
in a city where the rain is born