For Isabelle Li
Your sadness is a continent, she said;
you are the frozen north.
In winter, where I was a child, the soil turned to stone. The wind crept
Over it like old news from the Steppe
and wept; the underworld was the whole world then
And the only word it knew was grief. If my sadness is chthonic, I think; if
It’s ten feet deep and chronic, it must be yours,
or it might be the world’s,
and some of the news is good:
For summer’s here, and the world is warming, and
the days to come may be the (un)making of us yet.
1 December 2013