Membuka (To Open)

Inside this marbled garden

dried leaves sweep into neatness,

bristles shush and smooth my rising.

Calm strives beyond decoration.

I touch anxiety’s vein

in every translated question.

The line goes dead.

Tired of trying to reconnect,

I retreat in salty solitude.

Between crisp sheets I fall

into batik nightmares —

the prisoner’s dilemma.

But in the morning

the grass will be clean and

I will open again, for the listeners

May 4, 1999