And she is what’s immense about the night

Feb 12, 2011 | Things I wish I'd written

Dwelling

As though touching her
might make him known to himself,

as though his hand moving
over her body might find who
he is, as though he lay inside her, a country

his hand’s traveling uncovered,
as though such a country arose
continually up out of her
to meet his hand’s setting forth and setting forth.

And the places on her body have no names.
And she is what’s immense about the night.
And their clothes on the floor are arranged
for forgetfulness.

…from Book of My Nights, by Li-Young Lee

I’ve always loved that, for a man whose personal history is wracked with the politics of upheaval, whose ancestral story makes Oscar-winning epics look pale and lifeless, he chooses to write…this.