On a warm Tokyo morning, I resolved to leave this place (a poem)

Today’s entry, prompted by the realization that a couple of Japan-related anniversaries are coming up: it was July 1987 that I went to Tokyo; it was this week in 1992 that I began making arrangements to leave…

The hardness of the surface
got too uncomfortable
skirting it didn’t help

What heat didn’t bounce off the surface
cowered in a corner
while the dehumidifier churned away
collecting enough moisture
to soothe the shadows
suffering quietly through another summer

Music played in the record store
where I once rushed out the door with my purchase
so the album would be a surprise
when I got it home
only now it was a reminder
of days that would soon be forgotten

The train in summer is a tube of frigid air
I could have spent my days there
had I nowhere else to go
The Yamanote could never take me that far
(How did you get there?)

Here and now, in this surface I sink
motion rendered slow as molasses
cooled to a viscous gel

The creek lumbers past
carrying with it
hopes for summer’s arrival
and the rain that doesn’t stop falling
because it doesn’t know
what else to do

The cold and the damp
and the traffic that goes nowhere
(How did you get there?)

I have a new resolution…

(18 June 2017)