What Have I Done With My God?

Little Round

My fool asks: Do the years spell a path to later
be remembered? Who’s there to read them back?

My death says: One bird knows the hour and suffers
to house its millstone-weight as song.

My night watchman lies down
in a room by the sea
and hears the water telling,
out of a thousand mouths,
the story behind his mother’s sleeping face.

My eternity shrugs and yawns:
Let the stars knit and fold
inside their numbered rooms. When night asks
who I am I answer, Your own, and am not lonely.

My loneliness, my sleepless darling
reminds herself
the fruit that falls increases
at the speed of the body rising to meet it.

And my child? He sleeps and sleeps.

And my mother? She divides
the rice, today’s portion from tomorrow’s,
tomorrow’s from ever after.

And my father. He faces me and rows
toward what he can’t see.

And my God.
What have I done with my God?

–Li-Young Lee


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