Three Improvisations

1

The clouds are sheets of cotton pulled thin between our fingers.

Translation: At the lake, villagers are harvesting
shoals of tiny fish, their bodies an inch long, the dark
pupils of their eyes no bigger than pinpricks.
The water ripples like oil.

2

You lean forward and say, Don’t move. There is an animal in the tree above you.

Translation: The nuns in the school I attended
made us walk, single file, up and down the narrow
wooden staircases: Only on the balls
of your feet, girls
, they commanded.
Lightness is all.

3

Where can I go to feel sand under my feet, watch the rush of water tint them sable?

Translation: The Japanese irises wear thin
wrappers of color; they’ve had too much heat
and now they’re shriveling in the evening air.
A cricket twangs its strings in the shadows,
oblivious to the deep vermilion pouring over
the harbor. Not me— I want to drink it up.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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