My friends Dan and Charlotte,
who have lead me around Shanghai,
and know that I have dreamed
of the Yellow Mountain my whole life,
offer to take me there, and we’re going to go
until we find out that the train
won’t arrive until three in the afternoon,
and the sun will set at 4:40
and it’s a six mile hike to the hotel
where we don’t have reservations
and the entire mountain has iced over
in the February cold.
So we set our sights on Nanjing instead,
and chances are that I’ll never be here again,
so my dream of the mountain,
of its vertical cliffs and tors
of its little wooden bridges and monkeys
and its sunshine at dawn will stay locked
in my mind as it always has been,
unchanged by reality.
It’s wind will always blow musical,
as a John Coltrane song.