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Study in Black

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Tu Fu, “Thoughts While Traveling at Night”

        There’s a wind in the grass — 
Is there here
       a boat’s mast claiming my lonely night too?
                                                                             I see the stars
                        can’t be called hanged, exactly,
just hanging down,
                                     not over emptiness, but honest ground,
the moon trying the black skin of this river, black corpse    ...    
                                                                                      But, even plainer — 
       I wonder if these words, my words,
will ever bring me fame.
       I have my age, my injuries. They limit me.
                                                                            I’m like some spook bird
I know, solo and roped between
                                                                where rotting happens and a sky.
Source: Poetry (July/August 2014)

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This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

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Study in Black

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