Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2014  Vol. 13  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Rapture
     after Basho

Did the pilot really say “I’ll see you in
a future life?” We’re flying over the
South China Sea, I think. Outside, the bitter
cold would kill us, or at least give us a “radish”
as my four-year-old granddaughter called the rash that
covered her bottom with what was probably bug bites
from a night spent at Bible camp. We’re flying into
a thunderstorm. The lightning looks to me
like the apocalypse; the rapture, perhaps, I
am thinking how we mistake things. How the feel
of foreignness is unnerving, or at least funny. The
“future life?” A “radish?” Sometimes icy cold
can be perceived as hot. Sometimes autumn
seems like spring; the voice of God, the wind.  end  

The last words of each line, read vertically top to bottom, form a haiku by the Japanese poet Basho.

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