Nocturne By Li-Young Lee

That scraping of iron on iron when the wind   
rises, what is it? Something the wind won’t   
quit with, but drags back and forth.
Sometimes faint, far, then suddenly, close, just   
beyond the screened door, as if someone there   
squats in the dark honing his wares against   
my threshold. Half steel wire, half metal wing,   
nothing and anything might make this noise   
of saws and rasps, a creaking and groaning
of bone-growth, or body-death, marriages of rust,   
or ore abraded. Tonight, something bows
that should not bend. Something stiffens that should   
slide. Something, loose and not right,   
rakes or forges itself all night.

Li-Young Lee, “Nocturne” from Rose. Copyright © 1986 by Li-Young Lee. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions Ltd., www.boaeditions.org.

Source: Rose (BOA Editions Ltd., 1986)

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