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The ashtray and the girl
Author: Masayo Koike
Published on: 4/14/2016 11:31:32 AM

The girl who takes a dose of youthful souls
Who doesn’t bow is still effective

The end of summer
In the middle of the road
Lying on its back dead a Brown Baker cicada

In the aunt’s folded fan
Jammed within this year’s butterfly is dead

In the tobacconist at the bottom of the slope
Not moving an inch the perpetual shop assistant

Children gleam
Fish or skylarks
Sped off in the direction of the sea-tang

In the forlorn, tiny universe dog dung remains

The power of green binds the window
All the trees silently burst into flame
Z, zzz, zzzz
Buzzing green

Afternoon in the locked music room
A strange chord can be heard

On top of the piano
Matches and a bundle of small candles

‘Take off your socks’
‘Keep your skirt on’

The girl’s legs are slowly opened
In the inlet giddy students in the grade above

Looking from afar another girl
This summer
Binds all their pasts together
Travelling behind them

From tomorrow all              will begin their ending

-- translated from Japanese by Leith Morton
-- gif by Nguyễn Hoàng Giang

(originally published by Vagabond Press : Poems of Masayo Koike, Shuntaro Tanikawa & Rin Ishigaki)

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