Thursday, June 9, 2016

Maiko Sugimoto

Sleeping Women
breathing of the sleeping women in a shared bedroom
ever unsynchronised, gradually, transforms
into conversation,
stirred air,
plays with bangs, to be                
an insomniac, an outcast,                 
by that declaration in the dead of night
whether we’re always alone,
or, please                                                   
converse, bringing one who sleeps to the river, barefoot
to dance, to play ducks and drakes
god forbid
and your whereabouts, ladies, have yet to be disclosed
by the Kinugawa river, whose course is gradually enclosed, shall
solidarity be brought into being, quietly, maybe
one, two, flocks of sheep have obscured our being,
so we, with guilty conscience,
have slaughtered so many of them (haven’t we?), as a dream, like a sentence
is given only once,
I’ll roll those weighty female bodies
and move them like snaking logs,
—and those faintest snores, breaking voices,
even a whispering rustle of cloth, I shall
inspect them all, for tomorrow, when
I return them to you, gentlemen

translated from the Japanese by Sim Yee Chiang and Sayuri Okamoto

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