It’s the story of three quarrelling mountains.
She stayed up, drinking tea, reading late into the night.
It’s the story of the lust and sound, of the boxwood comb located and prized,
even now, in our century.
She presented the crown prince with the pure white flower of an orange
It’s a story as familiar as the fin-flash of koi.
How my chest aches for that fervent, for that color, for that black on gold.
There’s a light, still, twelve centuries later, in my throat chakra.
I do not exaggerate when I ask you to keep the lantern lit with the purest
kerosene, the most moist lice, drawn from the blubber of a walrus far to
A long time ago I wandered the woods near Nishitomi Hills.
I wore monk hair, ate nothing but shitake mushroom broth, and—on
occasion—sat by my river reflection waiting for monkfish to pass through
it, back and forth, as if I weren’t already alive.