for Bach Tong

Image of a compass lost its north, its red arrow
spinning with no resolve or force
of feeling towards direction or place, but why bring other
images into the desert? There’s one here
you can use – dust blown into a devil
the size of the pass’ saddle, to the eye, that size, at the west
end of the valley, diminishing even
as you look, dust settling like rain
if rain had some clear end and stopped
all at once – you were looking for an image
of desire, something to rest on, and in
resting, pleasure yourself,
if pleasure could be more like a song
made only of refrain than a whole record
chosen again and again just for its sequence.
In the same way this desert where you live
used to be a lake, you used to be a lover.
I do not need to scour you for evidence,
the sand scours and has the power
to scour you before it assumes
the shape of a trumpet,
or just the horn part, without the apparatus
it needs to be played so forcefully,
not showing you the place the lips belong.

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