A Town Called Road
After the departure of the gods resembling desire
Tada Chimako, “The Town of Sleep”
The town looks open as the moon looks open.
It shines faintly and faraway even on the inside.
A silver road cuts through the heart, if a heart
can be called a heart when it heaves like a ship.
In the north, the local woods are taciturn
unless they are asked for a light,
and they will unfold from their sleeves a light
and their mouths will open.
It is easy to take a wrong turn.
The south, also called misleadingly the port side,
tilts towards the ships.
The trade in hearts
is thriving like nowhere else. A full-grown heart
goes for a thousand dollars in broad daylight.
It is considered an act of deep friendship
to bring out from the kitchen and open
a fresh heart. Feelings, however, must be put aside;
a gift is a favor to be returned.
On TV public men speak by turns
of the nourishing taste of a good heart.
Down by the docks, on the far side,
I have seen a young woman’s face alight,
a moon-glow openness,
when hearts come in on a tanker ship.
A full report will leave by the next ship.
Every three months, the town turns
invisible for a full day, unopened.
Like a blood clot spreading through the heart,
a thick, black light
invades from the inside.
There are no more outlines and outsiders,
only the whisper of worship.
What is the changing light
of the seasons, the trees’ attention-seeking turns,
compared to the heart
when it closes and opens.
I should turn myself in for going over to the other side
but the ships show a red light. To the quiet woods
I will bring the moon lady and to her mouth open my heart.