Nothing changed much in the village,

though each new year brought in new waves

of birds that flew past the old stupa,

whose gilded gold had begun to peel.

Where the river bent towards the ravine,

a bridge, suspended like silence

at a grave conversation.

Some nights, when the last lamp

was killed, the unpredictable moon

betrayed some white, and some grey

owls hooted; afterwards everything paled,

like dust on paper.

I was elsewhere, far

from the plateau; I couldn’t tell

why these mountains had looped

to cut me off. That night I closed my eyes,

imagining a highland night above this city,

until the first sunlight fell

punctually to the boom of my clock,

and I woke up, and I woke up

lost for what I had given up.