“ . . . leaves: They will cure my hunger”

by James Reidel

. . . leaves: They will cure my hunger”
          Ch’en Tzu lung

The grass is dusted by frost and your bare feet grow number
     on the cold porch step.
For a whole minute more the Sunday Times stays this pillblue
     fire log on the lawn.
An eye of halfandhalf spins still in your cup and the first
     curdle
Floats to the number you bet wrong.
A light wind from the north rattles the flanking
     rhododendrons,
Their leaves curled as tight as cinnamon sticks,
Filed and polished to the yellow of long fingernails,
The ones grown just to pick off wax seals,
To open scrolls rolled as small around the next thing you did
     not know.