Endurance, 1946

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Endurance, 1946

Unaware of the day’s movements, she paints her
reply to the bracelet of light flaring above

the horizon. Tomorrow’s edict is gather,
as in retrieving a sister’s bones in black

rain, reassembling in thought
a smile that could not endure despite

its beauty. I seek a place
of nourishment and find empty bowls.

What is the symbol for peace, for planet?
How do we relinquish the incinerated voice?

Under the vault of ribs lie exiled words, more
bones, and beneath them, relentless darkness.

And whose bodies mingle in this earth?
Whose tongue withers from disuse?

The eight muscles react to separate stimuli,
four to change shape and four to alter position.

Turning, she places the brush on the sill
and opens the window to the breeze.

Exit the light, exit all prayer. Ten strokes
form breath. She does not taste the wind.

Atomic Bomb Dome_03

“Endurance, 1946” first appeared here in January 2015.


18 thoughts on “Endurance, 1946

  1. Beautiful poem for Hiroshima. I went there once along with some Shingon monks to pray for world peace. You can still feel the dark psychic energy lingering in the ether, no matter how sunny it is.

    On a happier note it is the home of Hiroshimayaki, a form of okonomiyaki ( a kind of cabbage-y pancake thing) which includes squid and cheese. It is THE best okonomiyaki of all time, and the best place to find it is at the Shinkansen station (Bullet Train). Oh…I am drooling for some squid- cheese Hiroshimayaki right now! おおおおおいしい!!!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

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