Haibun Today

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 4, Number 3, September 2010

Mark Smith
Keyser, West Virginia, USA


The Buoying Moon

With a belly full of wine, yearning for a woman’s warm silk, head scattered with the patterns of a thousand blossoms, Li Po must have loved so much that deep water, the illusory moon it held to fall over the side of the boat, murmur his last poem in dying blur and celestial light.

pouring more sake
long evening
of winter rain

But what did he want with reflected moon, a wavering translucence never meant to be pulled down from its starry cradle, never meant to lead the way for a humming and longing flesh?

full moon
cutting her a slice
of honeydew

Maybe it was an impermeable wish to slick a skin of scars, give in to the desire to die, float on choppy motion.  Like tonight along autumn’s skeleton of a lake stumbling in bramble, wife no longer wanting me to breathe the same air around the bed, I no longer willing to forgive his lingering scent, want to forget through water, by looking at the buoying moon: its wakes of light lap and break, part clusters of dead summer.  Oh the temptation to let this body settle to the bottom.

she dressed and leaving
tangle of bed sheets
turned cold

But instead I pause, let long night go on, let leaves sink deeper into weeds, let limbs drift away.  Yet still that shimmer, that undulating mirror of me wading out, embracing, like him, what will be lost with the coming of the dawn.

divorce final
forget-me-nots perishing
in the frost


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