i believe in little gods
who gather at doors and windows
looking in
waiting for a gap in
each entrance, a portal
festooned with trinkets and
amulets offering safe
passage or luck on the journey
while filtering out all the
empty shades and ghoulish
echoes living between
fibres of wood and glass,
the doorstep is always
too high a climb for weak
grey on an empty porch
drowned in cups of sweet milk
and the strawberry panic of
one girl’s lips kissing another
kissing you
while boiling water in a pot
for miso soup
just like your Mother made
before she became a shadow
somewhere in downtown Hakata
where she forgot to breathe
leaving you with nothing but
amulets and trinkets to ease
your passage from girl to woman.
i stay open for you, mushi-shi
blessed by gate wardens
the little smoke-shaped
Shinto gods
who live in every nook and cranny
of your apartment with us,
who write these words and never ask
for anything except a rainy night
and raw Saké to get drunk on
while watching us tangle legs
under a blanket of trinkets and
amulets i don’t think you knew
were there

your miso was good ..
the best i’ve tasted