Changing Genres

by Dean Young

I was satisfied with haiku until I met you,

jar of octopus, cuckoo’s cry, 5-7-5,

but now I want a Russian novel,

a 50-page description of you sleeping,

another 75 of what you think staring out

a window. I don’t care about the plot

although I suppose there will have to be one,

the usual separation of the lovers, turbulent

seas, danger of decommission in spite

of constant war, time in gulps and glitches

passing, squibs of threnody, a fallen nest,

speckled eggs somehow uncrushed, the sled

outracing the wolves on the steppes, the huge

glittering ball where all that matters

is a kiss at the end of a dark hall.

At dawn the officers ride back to the garrison,

one without a glove, the entire last chapter

about a necklace that couldn’t be worn

inherited by a great-niece

along with the love letters bound in silk.

From Fall Higher, Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 2011.