Monday, November 29, 2010

From "Rose"

This dark
star spreading in every direction from the crown of her head

My love's hair is autumn hair, there
the sun ripens.
My fingers harvest the dark
vegetable of her body.
In the morning I remove it
from my tongue and
sleep again.

Hair spills
through my dreams, sprouts
from my stomach, thickens my heart,
and tangles the brain. Hair ties the tongue dumb.

What sprouts from the body
and touches the body?
What filters sunlight
and drinks moonlight?
Where have I misplaced my heart?
What stops wheels and great machines?
What tangles in the bough
and snaps the loom?

A strand
pierces my left sole, shoots
up bone, past ribs,
to the broken heart it stitches,
then down

Sometimes my love is melancholy
and I hold her head in my hands.
Sometimes I recall our hair grows after death.
Then, I must grab handfuls
of her hair, and, I tell you, there
are apples, walnuts, ships sailing, ships docking, and men
taking off their boots, their hearts breaking,
not knowing
which they love more, the water, or
their women's hair, sprouting from the head, rushing toward
the feet.

-Li Young-Lee


  1. He's obsessed with hair. His lines from The City in Which I Love You haunt me:

    how I'm vexed to love you
    your body the shape of returns
    your hair a torso of light

    something like that...

  2. That's one of my favorite lines from that poem. I love his fixation.