When it was revealed to us, I was with a friend
who never says goodbye, but always says, peace.
Our main drag, this four lane artery connecting
our weekend retreats was called, Heiwa Dori
The look in his eyes showed surprise, but the smirk
said he’d known it all along. As if the name
was released from a magic lamp under the pavement,
rubbed into life by his feet, ambling toward Yatai.
Three wishes condensed into one, flowing down
the rims of little glasses, life, to make enough
memories that we can happily forget, to fill
those vacant spaces, those black retreats
from thought with something solid enough
that it can vanish. As we sit down, a woman stares.
A minute later, a man grabs his gawking mistress
throws her into a black car, and fades into red
tail lights. We learn that drunk, is Yoparai,
and that laughter has no language. Peace,
as he stumbles into a cab, and I linger
under the streetlights, following the chirps
of crosswalk signals back home. An old man
with no customers cleans up his kitchen,
and his strong arms roll it two kilometers,
whistling an old fight song around his tooth
Though he doesn’t know it, carpe diem
canters through his brain, in letters I can’t read
and sounds I can’t pronounce. In little cities,
small men move mountains, and nomad kitchens
are more permanent than graves.
See Tokuyama for further details.