The Awful Ease of Tides

for Arthur Sze

Somehow precise and unquestionable,
the cut of the Chinese man's hair.
Never before this certainty,
I consider the decision of each strand.
The diameter. The angle.
So black, the way it appears,
crashing against the hard corner of his jaw.


I consider the darkness.
You are appointed court photographer. Consider this picture.


My small face is red behind a bath towel curtain.
I watch a funeral that is taking place next door.
So black, my dog,
hurling himself against a chain link fence.


The casket is lowered and I am removing rusty pins
from the grease on the window's aluminum track,
along with strands of hair.


This is pressing.
I mark it with an asterisk. Black and large.


A vague feeling,
pressing itself against a snowfence in my mind.
Like a threat, I view the way you cut your hair
as if it were a history of something small.

by James Thomas Stevens

Comments (5)

Its a great poem
A good sonnet. An sample of the Italian sonnet with the rhyme scheme of: Abba, Abba Cd... The poem is divided into an OCTAVE. The first 8 lines and A SESTET- The last 6 lines. SYLVA ONYEMA UBA
i lyk t
What is greater than love? Nothing could compare... Great love poem
(Birds Sing I Love You, Love - Poem by Augusta Davies Webster.) Enjoyed the reading.