A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics
Awakened from a restless, wine-inspired sleep,
I wake in the night to find Yuan Chen’s elegy
and read, “Even if I had wings,
the net of grief would snare me.”
Pouring a good Malbec, I smelled it,
just as I had that night ten years ago
in Buenos Aires, Gray laughing with delight
at first taste, and I took a sip.
“We should go to Mendoza,” she grinned,
“since we’re both in love with her grapes.”
And now her ever-present absence,
my only true companion. Her beautiful dog
and the first echo of her laughter.
Yuan Chen met his wife in dreams each night.
I meet mine in a glass of wine,
in a dog that barks for attention
when I’m too lonely to play; I meet mine
in a menu, in a taste of a simple empanada,
in a steak from the parrilla — “rosada,
sin sangre” — This net of grief
is empty. All things pass through.
Even as I sit, weeping with my wine,
here is Yuan Chen, my friend, and here
my late wife, and the stars above her
and a full moon on the rise.
From Habitation: Collected Poems published by Lost Horse Press.
Copyright 2014 by Sam Hamill. Reprinted by permission of the author.