Cathay is a Cathode anchored in the heart

not at the end of the day
not over the injustice
not solely of this Earth
the shapes below and overhead
pulsing the frame you see into the dark
naked to speak the names you knew when you were made
the painted star on your face

whose harbor voice laments
inviting you to remember the future come again
like hikers beneath their tors

college students drunk on love
over a frozen city
a dirigible
glistening at the morning star’s first light

when we still counted souls
and still wrapped iron over the graves
(should they arise untimely)
and the sky was metal
covered in its garnet sheen

where are you now
when you speak that password
like a cryptography of Satan
made to make the Earth
and all of its inhabitants
each part inside each seed

shake me alight
tell me again what you saw, when you saw me
and tell me what it was

was it colored each inch of skin
pink and brown
was the shadow ornery and sallow
in its delight?

was the rankling fine
and were my evils rectified
in the coming of the sand over the white night light?

were you ignorant of your own faith
when you spoke to the shine and sleet of the beach?

how can you shake the pines out from their braces
if you don’t know the meaning of the secrets?
it’s not some accident
that careful pull towards the dove down
creeping soft
where the fire escape leans out into the blue
and young lovers hang their roots exposed over the rock

Before 1849, Saint Freeman, San Francisco,
was already a jewel,
its carved balconies and harbors
nearly 1,000 years old
Cathay gleaming

You are like that
beautiful amnesiac
yearning for the truth

Robin Wyatt Dunn was born in Wyoming in 1979. You can read more of his work at Read other articles by Robin.