An Ode in Hunan

You walk by the lake up the mountain
The monks long gone, the monastery
In ruins, the land wet, the rice deep

The laughter of your childhood the scatter
Of crows. The dust on your feet is thick,
Cakes in the sun, your eyes dark as a pool

Your hair in the wind, the salt on your lips.
You always go quiet when your pulse is up
Your words coming and going, fading in and out

Where below your family comes and goes
The trees bending, the unsaid prayers
Stacking up, pagodas under a sharp, blue sky