A Breaking Word

There’s that part
after Basho writes
old still pond
of pressing a fingerprint into wet clay

where the word ya
holds a space in the air
a cloud changes shape in the sky

make it a dash, a murmur
a breath on the inhale

this old pond
so many have tried to open

a sigh, a hum, a—

frog jumps in

sound of water says Hass
plop says Watts
kerplunk says Ginsberg



From the darkness and the fireflies, he calls me
mapless, unguided, night walker

pulling night from clear blue day to that heavy blue
when there’s still a little light in the sky
and the trees are dark against it

I am hiding in those trees
on a branch in the sway with the wind
not holding on so much as balancing
he calls me the night traveler
the angel breather
he calls me the one who has not come home