It’s a jade branch on the floor, broken in two, love,
or a stain raised on the lapped grains of a suede glove.
It’s the lace, blown by a strong breeze, of an old gown
with the cranes crying at night, lost in their long sound.
It’s a vase made from the noon light in a closed place,
and it falls, shatters the sharp edge of a jewel case.
It’s the Muse, mute with a shell clenched in her left hand,
a refrain deep in its coils, joined to the dead sand.