on the LIRR


the blonde
two seats away
saying to her friend
I love Italian people too
but you have to appreciate
the differences
I just got over him
and I know if I went
to that house
I’d start seeing him
I get weak
in the knees
just thinking
about it


Saturday night
homeward bound
among swarms
of young LIers
heading in
to the city
they have recently
behaving typically
like young people
men with six-packs
women in short skirts
the din louder
than a Stones’ concert
and this one-time resident
he was home
several thousand miles

The River Han by Tu Mu

Rich and full, all surging swells and white gulls in flight,
it flows springtime deep, its green a crystalline dye for robes.

Going south and coming back north, you grow older, older.
Late light lingers, farewell to a fishing boat bound for home.

translated by David Hinton