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Ryo Yamaguchi: Two Poems

Force | Morning


For awhile now
I've waited
for the bloom of the thing.

The two sticks
point angles
out of the broad pot, cut

patient lines
into the moment
of Tuesday-just-after-work.

All this labor: buds
from the absence of buds.

soaks into the grain
of the floorboards,

into the weight
of the table and not-yet

orchids. War
on the radio, softly,
barely here.

Sometimes, I think I see
crazy things, the
conflagrant balloon clearing the trees,

but it's nothing except
what I've read, another
red, dull eclipse.

Something shifts, a pan
in the oven. Then there's just
the room,

quiet in the drawer, the
toothpicks, tweezers —
the means.


It's quite possible
that we
are regressing,

that the peak has come
and gone.


it's hard to think
of lights no longer blinking,

of not one more staple or rivet,

Wednesday's street is humming,
the sky pouring white against blue:
crests and valleys,
the good old sky,

and this woman in a windbreaker,
you have seen her before,
brisk walker,
led by a cigarette's bonework
of ash — she's
cutting through the air,
yes, breaking it.

But the peak came,
I remember:
a swell under the feet,
the soil boiling over,
and for a moment
dry leaves rattling like a bag
of bird's bones,

then quiet: a soft grumbling in the distance,
then evening,

no moon to be seen...

So now the pool of water's slight sheen,
the black birds flying from the eaves.

Right here, the baker puzzles
over his bread,
while the truck rattles the dolly's ramp.

Right here, from the alley,
an echo,
rocks chipping into a pile.

Poet's Biography:
  Ryo Yamaguchi will be attending the MFA Program at the University of Minnesota in the fall of 2005. His work has appeared in The Sycamore Review and Watershed. He lives and works in Denver, Colorado.

© 1999 - 2005, by the poets featured herein.