She Is

By Tsering Wangmo Dhompa
Her voice is a roundness. On full moon days, she talks about
renouncing meat but the butcher has his routine. And blood.

M’s wisdom. Still reliable.

There are sounds we cannot hear but understand in motion.
Slicing of air with hips. Crushing grass, saying these are my feet.
I want my feet in my shadow. Suffice to meet desires halfway.

Quiet. We say her chakras are in place.

When the thermos shatters, she knows the direction of its spill.
She knows how to lead and follow. Know her from this.

Sounds we cannot hear. The wind blows and we say it is cool.

Night slips under the door. We are tucked into bed and kissed
a fleeting one. Through the curtains, her voice loosens like thread
from an old blanket, row upon row. We watch her teeth in the
dark and read her words. She speaks in perfect order, facing where
the breeze can tug it towards canals stretching for sound.

Her faith abides by the cycle of the moon. See how perfect she is.

Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, “She is” from Rules of the House. Copyright © 2003 by Tsering Wangmo Dhompa. Reprinted by permission of Apogee Press.

Source: Rules of the House (Apogee Press, 2003)

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Poet Tsering Wangmo Dhompa

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Living, The Body, The Mind, Relationships

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

 Tsering Wangmo Dhompa

Biography

Poet Tsering Wangmo Dhompa’s parents fled Tibet in 1959. Raised by her mother in Tibetan communities in Dharamsala, India, and Kathmandu, Nepal, Dhompa earned a BA and an MA from Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi, an MA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. She is the author of the poetry chapbooks In Writing the Names (2000) and Recurring Gestures . . .

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Poems by Tsering Wangmo Dhompa

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SUBJECT Living, The Body, The Mind, Relationships

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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