Is fault on a blameless day,
scrawled on a washed-out sky.
My friend’s music orbits his home,
worms through the cracks in the bluest lines, ever new
and permanent, staining even his hope
long after the lights stutter away.
And the rain’s attenuated sorrows?
They’re coming, he says. Like goats
through a fence. Like lava. Like tomorrow.
* * *
“Sometimes Love is a Dry Gutter” was first featured at Vox Populi in January 2017. I’m grateful to editor Michael Sims for supporting my work. It is the opening poem to my recently released chapbook, Buddha’s Not Talking, which is available here for $10 plus shipping and tax (where applicable). Simply type in “Okaji” to view all of my available books, or just add the title.
The winner of Slipstream’s 35th Annual Poetry Chapbook Competition, Buddha’s Not Talking is now available for purchase. Slipstream Press has not yet provided an order link on their site, but signed copies may be ordered here. Simply type in “Okaji” to view all of my available books, or just add the title. $10 plus shipping and tax (where applicable).
I breathe when you breathe,
and watching me,
you capture each lost molecule.
This book blinks whenever you turn the page.
I see you between the words, between the white threads.
You are the adored chapter, the one I read in bed before
sleep, and after I wake, before the first wren announces
dawn, then in the afternoon’s highest point, when shadows hide,
and later, as they emerge to stroke your bare shoulder.
What’s on the other side, you ask. What do you hear?
Your breath, I say. Your name.
“When Shadows Hide” was first published in the print anthology Epiphanies and Late Realizations of Love in February 2019.
When you look through me which darkness illuminates your vision, outlining the ghosts of never was and not yet? Or do your eyes glare back in silent terror, knowing the power of liquid made solid, of light transformed to electricity and by inference these words or the shades drawn by voice command? Transparent, elusive, evident, I stand alone, clear. Hidden.
“Self-Portrait as Window” first appeared in The Dew Drop in November 2020.