• Drawing Lesson


    (For my art teacher Norman Chow)

    a boxed landscape is presented
    to you on an eighth of a page of
    your yasaka sketchpad.

    today marks your sixth lesson.
    the teacher’s instruction:
    enlarge the landscape
    on the rest of the page.

    your grip on a chunk of oil pastel
    is unsure
    you stare at a representation of the sun,
    feel its rays, violent in yellow orange,
    as they singe your lashes,

    you hear the rattle of bones beneath
    the grass
    you watch a spectral
    mist coil like a cobra around
    the trunks of hapless trees.

    in the heaving distance
    blackbirds caw
    a dirge of warning:

    stop romancing the mountain
    reduce the drippy sentiment that
    has chained you to summers past
    of cousinly camaraderie.

    true those companions
    have since scattered
    east west south north
    of the american continent

    what’s left is this rectangle
    & inside it are a sunny orb
    a horizon broken by hills
    foregrounded by grass fading

    fading fast like your now
    infrequent dreams of mountains.


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