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By Arthur Sze

The tide ebbs and reveals orange and purple sea stars.
I have no theory of radiance,

                but after rain evaporates
off pine needles, the needles glisten.

In the courtyard, we spot the rising shell of a moon,
and, at the equinox, bathe in its gleam.

Using all the tides of starlight,
                we find
                vicissitude is our charm.

On the mud flats off Homer,
I catch the tremor when waves start to slide back in;

and, from Roanoke, you carry
                the leafing jade smoke of willows.

Looping out into the world, we thread
                and return. The lapping waves

cover an expanse of mussels clustered on rocks;
and, giving shape to what is unspoken,

                forsythia buds and blooms in our arms.

Arthur Sze, "At the Equinox" from Compass Rose. Copyright © 2014 by Arthur Sze.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press,

Source: Compass Rose (Copper Canyon Press,, 2014)

  • Living
  • Nature

Poet Bio

Arthur Sze
A second-generation Chinese American born in New York City, Arthur Sze teaches in New Mexico at the Institute of American Indian Arts. His poetry is remarkable for its combined focus of Eastern history and Western modernity. See More By This Poet

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