Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A long poem written in Asagaya:

Cai tells me her grandmother
Is an egret.
We see one land on a tall tree
At dusk.
Pearl white in a quickly changing blue sky.
I tell her about Jan
And the dove that visited us
And we agree
The dead become birds.
Of course!
Finally free to fly,
To watch from above.
The following morning
We walk home after a night of
Tequila and shochu.
The sound of birds fill the air.
To be so festive in the morning like,
Hey, you did it,
You made it to a new day!
They cheer for us.
But if we’ve stayed awake
Through the night
Is it a new day?

Stumbling upon a cemetery in Asagaya
We hear a rustle in the graves.
Perhaps a cat,
Like the ones in Buenos Aires.
Or a stone fox, the spirits’ protector.
Why do birds and cats stay
Slaves to the food chain in life,
When in death they become
Protected and protector?

Walking along the river
A group of nine to eleven year old boys approach us.
Some of them wear bicycle helmets.
The obvious leader holds a soccer ball.
They ask Cai to dance
And we soon realize
They are watching her breasts bounce
Under her pink mesh top.
Further down the river we sit at the bench
Where all the cats congregate.
Cai says she met a small old woman
Who comes every Saturday at five
With cans of cat food.
But she’s not there
And the cats are disinterested.
Most of them are white
Like the egrets,
With orange or brown markings.
They are so white in the dark soil.
So clean, like this city.
They each sit in front of their own tree
Coiled atop the roots
Like flowers.
A walking man stands and waves
At the cats
And all the passing dogs
Wear LED collars

Like little ravers.

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