Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2020  Vol. 19 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Diptych with Window View & Hiroshige Print

No tree vaulting high that I could see
possessed a perfectly straight trunk.

A geisha follows a trail of paper lanterns.

Yellow leaves had been blown off,
leaving black branches.

Stars in water a match for the sky.
A windless night, and all clear.

Something was coming, the wind a portent.

A red petticoat peaked out from under her coat.

Deer hid and wild turkeys latched onto a roost.

Near the hill’s foot, a shrine and brightly lit restaurants.

Solitary means to turn in
on yourself, a whelk, and no escape.

A cropped lantern, a cropped cherry tree, and still she walks
in dignity, with purpose.

The gusts came from the east,
blowing saplings in half.

Behind her, the Sumida River, a sky of stars,
stars in the river, and beyond, a black hill.  

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