- Evidence of Nocturne, and: Ghost in Waiting
Evidence of Nocturne
Whatever is singing above, come down.Drink a lake from my eyes, fever and azaleas
both thriving on the shore.Don't eat when your mouth is dry—
even a scrap of bread makes you bleed.Withdraw. No lion devours the bones
of a beloved. Tonight, after rainI'd like you to fly through these irises,
your blue mustache, blue cheeksinfected with sky. You can be frail here.
Between the clouds, a moonlit plane,a thousand houses to be washed away.
This pile of wood wished to be a stairwaybut couldn't. Will you pretend to climb it. [End Page 5]
Ghost in Waiting
He watches me through the oleander bush.The rain has softened his cigarette—
is he burning still. A jar of plums cools underground,maturing the flesh. He lingers inside the flames,
his hair like weeds grasping a stone, the bonesbreaking, until what's left is the scraped roof
of a mouth. Afterheat resists the morning chill.Unshriveled. We are not separate.
His scent reddens the hour. The air thickensas the smoke enters the room. I wish for a breeze
that animates my hair—I will not suffocate a bee.Pollen over his bright chest. What grows from where
to what. Trapped heat. Dirt. Thick gauzeon a wound that heals and unheals in sweat. [End Page 6]
Yuki Tanaka is an MFA student at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas–Austin. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Best New Poets, Poetry, and elsewhere. He is poetry editor of Bat City Review.