One night your wife won’t turn to you
through the dark and you start
a war in another country.
Bombs go off in your father’s arms;
The light is immense but you must look.
Your son is thrown to the bottom
of a well, but you have
no buckets to save him,
for you have turned them into guns.
In one sleepless night,
you have learned how the world ends.
The dark moon follows her own course.
Turn the other way.
A middle-aged man shouts at the mother
who died when he was away at school.
He stares at the mountains in hate.
The angry man cries because his mother
went insane. He has no one to slap
while his father speeds on to emergency wards.
The old man with kids our age
has not left his mother for the tides.
His children laugh at him like a fisherman
who returns with empty nets.
The earth cannot hold all their tears.
No matter where they fall,
they return to the blazing sea.
The tides will turn or not turn,
but there will be no more tears in you:
This is how the world begins.
Light rises through the peaks.
From MAN! Magazine, and Text and Commentary, Mandala Publications, 1993.
For my thoughts about writing this poem, follow this link.