In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Entanglement
  • Arthur Sze (bio)


Before sunrise, you listen for deer beyondthe gate: no signs of turkeys roosting on branches,no black bear overturns garbage binsalong the street. The day glimmerslike waves undulating with the tide:you toss another yellow cedar loginto the woodstove on the float house;a great blue heron flaps its wings,settles on the railing outside the window;a thin low cloud of smoke hangs over the bay.When you least expect it, your fieldof vision tears, and an underlying landscapereveals a radiating moment in time.Today you put aside the newspaper,soak strawberry plants in a garden bed;yet, standing on land, you feel the riseand fall of a float house, how the earthunder your feet is not fixed but moves with the tide. [End Page 32]


Searching for lightning petroglyphs, I stumbleonto a rattlesnake skin between rocks—

at dusk, soldiers set up machine gunsnear the entrance to the Taj; others lay

a wall of sandbags—and tense whena snake glides past my feet—a cow

lumbers through a crowded street,while a one-armed girl panhandles

at a blinking red light—relax whena tail without rattles slips into a crevice—

a vendor sells dates and mangoes; my eyessting in the soot-laden cardamom air—

when I stop at a pair of zigzag petroglyphsand ponder if they are lightning or snakes,

I look up at a sandstone temple with chariotsand war elephants carved in the first tier;

above, a naked woman pulls a thorn from her heel;higher up, a man and woman entwine. [End Page 33]


You pick grapes from a street vendorwhen an ambulance packed with explosivesdetonates in a crowd; while I was weedingin the garden, a fire ant crawled up my jeansand blistered my leg. I gaze at the white trunksof aspens and shrinking patches of snowon the grass; no one can read the scriptof Rongorongo, yet we know the urge to carvewith a shark’s tooth. The warmth of sunlightradiates from a stone wall: a wall formedof hewn words, fitted without mortar—piano music wafted like frankincense smokeeach word, a meteor leaving a track.The shift from opacity to transparency’sa form of sunrise; at 5 am you step outsideto catch a lunar eclipse; I recall patchesof moonlight rippling down the hallway;now we are X, collapsing space, collapsing time. [End Page 34]


Our bodies by firelight—apple blossoms unfolding at the tips of branches—aroma of candlelight in the room—spruce trees, black, against a lightening sky—leafing willow swaying in the backyard—a moment of red tulips—navel orange slices on a plate—squares of dark chocolate—eddies in a river—a sword razors a leaf coming downstream—a dog leaps between slats of a fence—rips a gate off its hinges—ring, ring, ring, ring, ringscent of blackthorn oil—these rings we’ve worn and worn into sunrise— [End Page 35]


Along the shore, bald eagles nest in the yellow cedars—my clothes reek of cedar smoke—I wrap clothes around glass jars of king salmon in my knapsack—standing on a dock, I board a float plane—floaters in my eyes, wherever I go—wherever you go, you cannot travel faster than light—synapses firing in my body are a form of light—threads of fugitive dye entangled in neural firings—scent of summer in the blackening leaves—a black bear swipes a screen door and ransacks a kitchen—we ransack the past and discover action at a distance—entangled waves of near and far—a photon fired through a slit behaves like a wave—we inhale, and our lungs oxygenate a cosmos—a fire breaks out of the secret depths of the earth—revel in the beauty of form. [End Page 36]


A ring-necked pheasant forages along the road,while a purple orchid blooms by the window;when distance collapses, a blood-redstrawberry bursts in your mouth;you mark the rise and fall of your lungs,blood coursing to...


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pp. 32-37
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