My Clothes Lie Folded
for the Journey
by Li-Young Lee
Dreamed some rain so I could sleep.
Dreamed the wind left handed
so I could part its mane and enter the dance
that carries the living, the dead, and the unborn
in one momentum
through the trillion gates.
Dreamed a man and woman
in different attitudes of meeting and parting
So I could tell the time, and periods of the sun,
and which face my heart showed
and which it displayed to a hidden fold.
Dreamed the world an open book of traces
anyone could read who knew the language of traces.
Dreamed the world is a book. And any page you pause at finds you where you breathe now,
and you can read the open secret of who you are.
As you read, the other pages go on turning, falling through the page before you,
the sound of them the waves of the waters you walk
beside in your other dreams of the world as story, world as song, world you dreamed you were not dreaming.
Dreamed my father reading out loud to me,
my mother sewing beside me,
singing a counting song
so I wouldn’t be afraid to turn from known lights toward the ancestor of light.