Emily Warn

Tet: How The Two Become One

How The Two Become One
Jacob wrestled wind
howling inside him
until it returned
his brother’s face,
as when wind shakes the leaves
after a brief summer rain
to prolong its sweetness
and startle the trees
into thinking they’re clouds.
Face to Face
Alone, I waited
on the river bank
for you alone,
having sent my sheep
ahead to placate you.
On seeing them,
you ran to meet me.
We embraced, and wept.
“Jacob, you’ve come back at last,
to mend our rift
, you said.
But for me, it was no more,
except when I clung to the past,
mulling it with grief.
Go on your way, Jacob,
you urged
with no reproach, but keep
your offering, salted with fear.

A crow woke my old dog
asleep in muddy rushes
beside the river bank.
It woke me, too.
I listened to the current
dividing me from you,
a ghost the crow scares away.
Then I saw your face
as one might see God’s face.
Its kindness, the love
I felt in the womb returned.
Esau, I begged,
accept my gift,
I will, you said,
looking through me
and wished me safe journey,
refusing my request
to keep step with mine.
Purifying the Vessel
Lie down on the baked earth in a field of dry grass and clover. Coil your walking stick
into a snake. Listen to wind praise the flimsy, disorderly nests of crows, then wait until
they rest there from flying all day carving tunnels for night to enter. When the wind
bends the grasses into letters and sings their shapes, rise and lead the congregation in the
study of sea fossils and generations of locusts.

Emily Warn
“Tet: How The Two Become One” is from Shadow Architect, (Copper Canyon Press, 2008.