On a Crimson Leaf

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 75th birthday.

Diana Bellessi
b. 1946


Infinite mirror the waters of the night.
I listen to the call
of the first siriri-duck
migrating from the south.
Lilies in the still air intoxicate.
A crimson
leaf has fallen and floats on the river.
Might it be the one
that ha T’sui-p-‘in, prisoner in the women’s quarters,
wrote her poem on?
Sent forth to risk the river
in hopes someone in the world of men
may take it from the water.

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