When the Plums Are Scarlet
—after Thich Nhat Hanh
Wavelets dilate on ribs of sand. Almond trees
branch the young soldier, motionless.
Pearl oysters on the rising tide, their silvering voices.
You kneel by a horse conch—
plunging hooves on the bleats of the world.
These fanned scallops and dominions of time.
You hear a thin stream of water, quiet breathing, ivy
braiding near wild geese. Alphabet cowries crawl over a
shampoo lid on the bath ledge. Hold me long or hold me longer.
This silent hour in the rear. Damp, edible petals in blossom soup, a
drunken bee. Musk melons, banana leaves, and children in the fields.
Butterflies hover over the scarlet plums.
The stars, the stars! The mustard seeds you plant are you.
The moon! Windswept furious loving without the killing.
Whisper into your beloved shell. I will paint whatever you say.
Dana Trupa is a poet and her work has appeared in The Bangalore Review, Kairos, Indolent Books “What-Rough-Beast” series, and elsewhere. She is an MFA candidate at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia.