A Brief Respite

My dream catcher is wary
hanging motionless
from the rear view mirror
no relief in sight

I can’t breathe can’t open the door
can’t put my hands at ease
can’t forget who you are and
who you think I could be

Tonight the grieving
weary from the weeping
exhale only once in celebration
tomorrow there will be more

the fear of dying
has been put away
like a heavy coat
we no longer want to wear
orange poppies will erupt
in ecstasy across weary
expectant fields
but our grandmothers
will stand unyielding
shouting to us in Cantonese
to carry that heavy coat
to see beyond spring
to ready yourself
for the perennial white ghost
that will say I was here first
I am the gold mountain


Japan is in the third drawer
beside an extension cord,
address books, and a handkerchief
I forgot to give.

Old journals remain open
in no particular order
as I search
for your number.

I believed that
on at least one page
out of so many saved
you would emerge
so I could say –