THE SEA AT NIGHT

THE SEA AT NIGHT
For Michael

The sea at night, all black
yet distinguishable from the sky, all black,
Close above the sea: a vertical sickle
a flame yellow waxing moon:
a chrysanthemum yellow star,
the evening star.

All in a straight line
So we wondered if this happens
every night or once a century,
We wondered while

the sea swayed, the sky shifted
the moon turned, the star slipped

and there was no time
for a photograph
       no time, so we watched
                    sleepless through the night,
unable to lie still
unable to stop talking...


Sujata Bhatt
Monkey Shadows, 1991

translated by Maung Tha Noe

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