Kintsugi

October 9, 2017
in the art of kintsugi pottery is repaired by sprinkling powdered gold on lacquer
there is no attempt to hide the damage      the break is illuminated

I have been working in the olive groves under a sky written by birds

late in the fifteenth century Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent a tea bowl
glazed in celadon         to China for repairs

and in the iris of your eye there is a storm that will not break

the bowl returned mended     crossed by a track of ugly metal staples

do you remember that April storm?     the river choked by wild onions?

we know little as to what followed     by the seventeenth century   collectors
valuable pottery     smashed       so as to be mended with gold seams

and on the river bank   the butterfly    folded

after mending    a piece can resemble only itself
the form determined by the breakage the vessel has suffered

every wintering knows its season        every bluethroat its flyway

the mouth of the body is brought to attention by interruption at three points

in the galleries of the body       the scapulae are paired
wide flat bones       roughly the shape of wings


a pair of repaired scissors   too      may bring tears to the eyes

again   today   I heard the rustling in the groves