okashi, a smile suddenly expressed and quickly gone.
-Bradley Smith, Japan: A History in Art
“You cannot break my breath,” she says, “being at last
by cloud, cursive dissolve, her face
is made of gofun, the crushed aged oyster shell, white
powder pigment and perfection.
Light sent adrift
on the wish to be like air, winter will come
composed of the breadash she carries in her sleeves.
There are no burdens of joy.
What might be invented is as
disconsolate and unrehearsed as devotion.
She sees him
from the inside of the mask. She’s accurate
lament, daughter of animal glue and sawdust, daughter
of paper & grass doll sent adrift on the river.
“You cannot see past this,” she accuses
in one gesture over her head
toward the windows.
She likes all talcum sounds before words.
She likes to whisper at night
because you can see the face better.
Haunts to keep still: respiration, respiration…