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By Arthur Sze

An architect draws a watercolor
depicting two people about to enter
a meeting room, while someone
on the stairway gazes through windows

at a park, river, skyscrapers beyond;
he does not want to be locked
like a carbon atom in a benzene ring
but needs to rotate, lift off,

veer along wharves and shoreline.
In the acoustics of this space,
he catches a needle bounce
off a black granite floor, wanders

from a main walkway, encounters
prickly pear burned purple in wind.
In the ocean gusts before dawn,
he yearns for a Mediterranean spray

where sunlight tingles eyelashes,
where sand releases heat
under the stars. In the atrium,
two violinists launch fireworks

of sound that arc, explode, dissolve
into threads of melodic charm.
Here slate near a pool of water
absorbs sunlight, releases ripples

into the evening; and in this space,
each minute is encounter:
he steps out and makes
footprints on a sidewalk dusted with snow.

Source: Poetry (October 2021)

  • Arts & Sciences
  • Living

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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