How Hard it is to Keep Watch

I am always alone
in the abandoned bell
tower of myself. Whoever
used to come and keep

company has withdrawn.
In one of the corners,
perhaps, is an earring
I lost sometime ago.

I could not find its gleam
though I searched high
and low. But always,
a rope asking to be

pulled several times a day
so the clapper can kiss
the surface it hits.
If there were ever

servants who cleaned
this place, it must
have been several
lifetimes ago. Dusk:

the only cloth that buffs
these surfaces, faithfully.
Morning light brings
noise and lists, bodies

that don't want to get up.
Night is the chanting
monks pour into rivers
of endless suffering.

I am trying to fit
into the space between
the landing and the swing.
I am trying to only be

the silence of no
longer trembling, a weight
at the end of a string
pointing toward the earth.

The quiet of no longer
tensing for the sound
of the next blow
to come.

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