New Year

At the Asian grocery store, curling
wreaths of paper dragons, wads of crimped
flowers, loops of good luck charms and trays
of sweets. Another year to eat in glossy
pink cellophane wrappers, in the shadow
of a beckoning cat. Why then does my eye
alight on all things weathered or fried?
Crinkled sheets of nori tempura, dried
persimmons pressed flat like rows
of leathery breasts. Dark, maternal
aureoles in their centers— Dropped
in a warm bath of water, will they
bloom again for a puckered mouth?
Nowhere can I find those delicate
orange, bud-shaped lanterns. I’d cut
a few branches and swing them ahead
of us as we walk home in the dark.
No matter. I tell myself I can be
content to lie in a loose basket
of sleep, one foot curled around
your ankle, one hand under my cheek.

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