“THERE’S NO THROUGH TRAIL” —HAN-SHAN, TRANSLATED BY GARY SNYDER
/ Diagnosed

Diagnosed

by Mark Simpson

Even the fever was someone’s invention.
And the trap door, one hinge done for,
the other missing.

Then the cluttering of the verge:

The dog wind a busted dream that came
back to me as I was feeding the horses,  
their teeth sharp in that way you know they are. 

Sorrow, a long apology—
and the traces of blood on sheets. 

Two people meeting on a narrow walkway 300 feet 
above a flood-tiding river, waiting its turn.

The echo of contrast and variation,
like that guy on that bridge wearing shades—
was he looking at me? 
That reflection in his glasses.

I was sick then but didn’t know it.

Mark Simpson

About Mark Simpson

Mark Simpson is the author of Fat Chance (Finishing Line Press). Recent work has appeared in Columbia Journal (Online), Third Wednesday, and Apeiron Review. He lives on Whidbey Island, Washington, where he farms several acres of cut-over forest, raising what the climate and land allows. He has a calendar, and as each day passes, he places a careful X in the small white square of yesterday.

Cold Mountain Review is published once a year in the Department of English at Appalachian State University. Support from Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences enables CMR’s learning and publications program. The views and opinions expressed in CMR do not necessarily reflect those of university trustees, administration, faculty, students, or staff.