August 20, 1961 Today, strolling alone, outside the convalescent hospital, I paused and tucked in my chin: Why, this fresh scar dividing my chest is like the opening stroke of calligraphy on an empty scroll! In these flat Shinoda fields, under the flat sky, day is a glazed tile of intricate detail. Neither I, nor the lotus, nor the tiny sparrows pacing delicately on the tatami mats, will ever take leave of it . . . Out of breath I entered the bubbling pool and knitted my brow: Since when we gaze at the stars we gaze into a vanished past, is not night, Nomura, the rough underside of the tile? I waited for her answer, feeling my pulse, drying outstretched on a bed of moss . . . As I returned along the slate path, cranes, faintly shimmering in dusk, fished in the fields or rice. Crackling underfoot were the shells of cicadas who had gone, screaming like samurai more deeply into the pattern.
|The East Village Poetry Web