Net Light

Poised on a bridge, streetlights
on either shore, a man puts
a saxophone to his lips, coins
in an upturned cap, and a carousel

in a piazza begins to turn:
where are the gates to paradise?
A woman leans over an outstretched
paper cup — leather workers sew

under lamps: a belt, wallet, purse — 
leather dyed maroon, beige, black — 
workers from Seoul, Lagos, Singapore — 
a fresco on a church wall depicts

the death of a saint: a friar raises
both hands in the air — on an airplane,
a clot forms in a woman’s leg
and starts to travel toward her heart — 

a string of notes riffles the water;
and, as the clot lodges, at a market
near lapping waves, men unload
sardines in a burst of argentine light.

More Poems by Arthur Sze