Hauntingly beautiful verse from Li-Young Lee (1957- ).
“Every Circle Wider”
Silver, the women sing of their bodies
and the men. Darker, the men sing
of their ancestors and the women.
Darkest is the children’s ambition
to sing every circle wider. Dying,
each sings at the edge of what he knows,
pregnant with the unknown, that chasm
sustained trembling (called singing) makes visible
Criminal, my recalling that country’s songs
and never intending to go back. No word
comes from there, but remembering
is steam and engine, my voice
filling and emptying as I sing:
The world is full of people
and no one at all.
The world is full of horns,
and none of them are to be found.
The world is full of rooms
and no place to remain.
The world is full of light,
but no one’s seen a thing.
The world is all dark, yet a hand
finds its way to other hands,
a mouth its way to other mouths.