by Sandy Tseng
A Stahlecker Series Selection
paper, 84 pages, $15.95
TRESPASSES OF THE CITY
break, the wind carves along the alpine
where I am dancing before my father. The light falls
in strands. I am a small figure in the shadows of the alpine.
My feet can barely be seen, my words can barely be heard.
I am a breath at the base of the mountain,
a faint sound.
Father, you see the way I worship you with my hands
and betray you with my mouth. The tongue
is a fire, the most misleading
among parts of the body.
I have just enough of you that I cannot go back
and just enough of the world
that I cannot embrace you.
Nights, I run a tub of water on the brink
of scalding. To soak my dry bones.
After all these years, I still can’t hear the words
from your mouth. At dusk when you take
my hands, I try to read your lips.