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Cover of the 1969 Griffin

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Mei-mei Berssenbrugge ’69 was born in Beijing and grew up in Massachusetts. She is the author of 12 books of poetry and her selected poems, I Love Artists, was published by UC Press in 2006. She lives in rural New Mexico and in New York City with her husband, artist Richard Tuttle, and their daughter.

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge ’69

From The Mouse #5

I can’t recall the beauty of the almond trees.

I’m unable to distinguish between seeing them, my instant awareness of ethereal beauty and trying to remember them as images of our having been in Greece.

The moment I think of them, they diffuse into beings whose frequency is so different from mine, I can’t see them.

They connect with beauty and each other in groves that seem celestial.

And yet our worlds are unified.

The dawn of the possibility of their appearance of form, stone, shifts probability to form angels.

Then my body is not a charnel ground, where fate is an emotional intent.

The interpenetration of breath and petals is not blasted by fate’s order.

You are a brush stroke of blue space drawn across the grid, like trying to wake up, where waking is realizing space, the way a picture fills in, with the mildness of your daughter’s face looking on you, not a mirror.

The light is wide as waking can embrace at one time.

Your waking is a blue brushstroke creating space.

Anything that does not contain light blue—a lake, Greek sky—will not even see you.