To Robert – thanks for letting me translate your work. Hope you like it; my reading is in Cantonese:
(c) Mary Tang 2015
The Color of Water
Eyes the color of water. The tree I cut down
returns: fallen leaves, smoke, the missing
shade, memory come to reflect
emotion. Once the blue grosbeak
hid in its branches, calling but refusing
to appear, the voice our only consolation.
Now rain streaks the empty space.
Those things we touch often bruise,
but to leave them untouched may harm us
even more. Two days ago the sky cleared.
Changes, how often we see them for what
they are not. An essential falsity. Those eyes.
Words, ever-changing. Shadows of lovers
whose bodies merge but never touch.