Poet Leslie C. Chang will read from her work on Tuesday, March 23, at 7 p.m., at Fordham University’s Lowenstein Center, 12-Floor Lounge, 113 W. 60th St., in Manhattan, as part of the Poets Out Loud series.
In the Language of the Here and Now
After a mid-winter death, I heard my aunts
say, He couldn’t pass through that gate.
You are like a Silk Route merchant with
a caravan, in their old idiom; or a minor
official sent to the border regions
to collect a salt tax. Every city has a gate,
the narrow portal between seasons. Difficult to pass.
In unaccustomed light, the daily banishment
of what you knew before, bitter flavors, foreign cold.
Come spring, showers harrow the road,
its shoulder the muted color of an astrakhan coat,
iris in long grass circling weathered milestones.
Forbearance in their words for one arriving
at a new city, seeing the tall embankment, wanting rest.
From Things That No Longer Delight Me
Fordham University Press
See the complete poem at Poetry Daily.