America, in a toilet in Santa Fe
I was urinating softly for a long long time
In the whole worldI felt as if there was only this sound and myself
Despite the fact that I was making the noise
Curiously it sounded as if it was coming from outside
As I was being consoled by it
Like an old woman’s unending story
Waiting for it to end
But it would not
A time that doesn’t belong
I wasn’t here,
I’m not alive,
I could even say this
Presently the sound ceased
In this room that had rapidly grown cold
A silent soul suddenly created
Is that me, is it me?
The temperature of life left in the shape of an invisible circle
Were you there?
Were you there in that room?
I am alive
Long before then the questioning voice reached me
- translated from Japanese by Leith Morton
(originally published by Vagabond Press : Poems of Masayo Koike, Shuntaro Tanikawa & Rin Ishigaki)