Spring 1991 • Vol. XIII No. 2 Poetry |

Hiroshima

The Japanese master bends to his sable brushes.He paints the idea of a bird. His concubinebrings him green tea, a spongy white roll.He thinks he must find a new woman, younger and less clumsy,whose face powder won't cake at the corners of her mouth.He dreams of new breasts falling into his hands,of brown nipples rolling like dice in his fingertips.She unpins her hair and takes a wooden flute from her sleeve.Her front tooth is chipped, the forbidden song that blows over itthe song of the mountain worn down to a stoneby a single drop of water. She plays its insistent noteand dreams of herself as a knife drawing across his windpipe,of herself as bird, a ceremony of pale blue feathers rising.

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The Japanese master bends to his sable brushes.He paints the idea of a bird. His concubinebrings him green tea, a spongy white roll.He thinks he must find a new woman, […]

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