Sometimes, if we’re halfway lucky
we may stumble & glimpse goodness
in a face, peering around a corner
or sharp turn in the labyrinth.
We arrive, staring over our shoulder
at pawprints the snow leopard left
on a trail circling back to the most fierce
hunter, back to the uncoiled loop’s
double roundel. How many paths
do we dare seek the spun gold knot
beneath the plum tree bent down
with blooms in the middle kingdom?
We brainstormed over bowls of water
spinach, Chinese broccoli, crispy fish,
& Szechuan beef. I can still see
stations of the cross we walked
through the Village, as if taunted
by springtime. Weren’t we in Shangri-la
for happy hour? With so much laughter
in your eyes & mouth, I didn’t know you
could foresee crocuses in the snow
as those perfect nocturnal beings
wrestled day & night to the ground.
George, I’d love to believe nature
is never truly unkind, that she
only wills the tiger bee its stinger
to guard the rally of honeysuckle
climbing the rusty iron-spiked gate
where mercy pulled all the fruit
down to the lowest branches.

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