Everything Passing

When I felt wings growing under my skin,
I fed myself another snow cone. I made
an architecture of summer clouds and
paper. In this scaffold, I turned into
a Valkyrie. Someday, I will shriek

forbidden words about claw machines
and bumper cars, horses seen from
car windows, the inevitability of fall,
everything passing, passing like
my old, soft, sun-loving self.


And Aosaginohi, Luminescent Heron of the Night

Aka Manto, I do not wish the blue paper or the red —
no paper for me, thanks. I’ll squat and drip dry,
and thus be neither strangled nor sliced.

Akaname, you are welcome to come and lick my
bathroom clean. I’ll think of you like a house centipede;
we’ll agree to unsee each other as we make our living.

Azukiarai, what is the sound of your azuki beans
being washed? I imagine it as shook shook shook.

Abura-akago, I’m afraid we don’t have the right
kind of lamps for you. Your infant tongue might burn
on the coils of our lightbulbs, and still not find any oil.

Ameonna, do you sometimes make rain for Amefurikozo
to play in? I would do this for any little boy, if I were you.



For NaPoWriMo, Day 2. I wrote based on this list of creatures from Japanese legend. I regret that I couldn’t give the little boy in my last stanza the long accent over his final “o.” I’m still figuring out this new blog theme.



Helen’s Flower

You know Helen:
Either she’s sorrowing
over being kidnapped
(twice), or she’s

putting on her makeup.
Flowers made of tears.
Makeup made of flowers.
Either way, Helen wants us

to notice Helen. The great
beauty. Look at me; my face
launched a thousand ships.
My parents mated as birds,

and now a flower grows
with every precious tear!
You know what I say?
So what? Who cares,

Helen? Her flower,
how many people
love it? How many
gardens is it in

right now? Three?
Four? Four hundred?
It doesn’t matter.
My name is Rose.



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