• Misako Takahashi

A Walker at Night

Her fingers quiver

carrying the smell of cardamom,

the scent of icy forest floors.

She wavers and totters

as dying leaves shiver in white shadows,

her arms stretching out,

desperate for dews.

Running after the figure

in eternal blueness

broken by silver birches,

I search for a cave--

but whether she needs one

I do not know.

Twigs of larches and her hair,

her bare neck mirroring

the frozen sky,

she eats a patch of bark.

When I stumble on a root and weep

the moon throws light on her cheeks dry,

her eyes roaring,


Is it her heart thumping

or the river that keeps the rhythm,

or is it only silence

that fills her dreaming body.

If she reaches waters,

the flow that revives her lungs,

the pressure that embraces her breasts,

will they keep her frame from falling apart--

I never know.