Shuri Kido (translated from the Japanese by Tomoyuki Endo & Forrest Gander)
A long slope.
The sun dipped, and finally sank.
No matter how long I walked, I stayed in "the middle of the road."
The name torn into pieces.
Just keeping on, climbing higher and higher
I'd completely forgotten the name.
I think of how I've come to call her sister, dropping
the suffix. We've known each other since
she was three and I was six. And I don't know
what a sister is if not an other, a fragile mirror, space
of tenderness. Female, and mortal, and afraid.
There is a thin, curvy line
between laughter and slaughter, I try yelling
to you on the roller coaster but my timing
is off, our shark bodies flung
into runaway cursive, vestigial Converses dragging serifs
across the clouds.
I wanted to prove to people that there was a body of poetry, not just a poem in the canon, but a whole body of poetry out there waiting for them; it was speaking to them and was, in a sense, modeling how they could tell their own stories.
The light unevenly gray beyond the triple-pane:
maybe neglected, or itself, self-filtering.
Obscuring as it crystals into existence, as it
opaques the hoar on the fence & bract to branch
of all my trees. Our yard, my debt.
October 9, 2021
POETRY DAILY MS 3E4 4400 University Drive Fairfax, VA 22030