‘Poetry is dying. That is why I had to make the film… The two become one through the poem.’

—Lee Chang-dong

You tell the doctor nouns
are more important
she replies
in dementia first to go
person, place, thing
hiding out where
tall wild iris
fasten their blue kimonos
in a garden of stars.

She talks to you of tides
nothing can turn
not even the bleached bones
of a winter moon
as shyly you unfold
your sole ambition
just one poem
one silently waiting
in a heart of pure amethyst.

Darkening as you study
each cicada cry and swollen
in your hand
an apple’s waxed shadow
and on pine a patch
of moth-shaped light
calling like a last letter
in warm neighbourhood
sodium night.

In the gold of the morning
your moment comes
on ground summered
with fallen apricots
and speckled grasses
path a girl walked
each day to high orchards
tracing the lost liniments
of her father’s face.

After poetry your search
not suicide
following footprints
to the water
beginning to dream
before wide black water
opens its arms
to your embrace
and finding her there
among the crimson
chrysanthemums
light a candle in the grave.