The thin walls of Japan

I can hear the phone ring
in the next apato.
the thin walls of my Japanese home,
the wild field of tatami
tamed under my feet.

“We are quiet lovers” he said,
in this country you have to be.
I remember a picture of a Japanese woman,
her kimono scattered around her,
one breast revealed
and she is holding a book in her mouth,
somewhere outside the picture
her man is coming inside her
and she can’t make a sound.

When the book falls
that’s the only sound of love I hear.
the book opens, pages turn.
he gets dressed.

“We are quiet lovers, good lovers” he said,
when we make love you can hear
the sound of my breathing and his,
the small sounds of my body talking to his
saying “yes” “yes” “this way” “here,”
words of a closed book.

Questions and Answers

What inspired “The thin walls of Japan”?

I wrote “The thin walls of Japan” when I was in a relationship in Tokyo, Japan. I learned how the architecture and lifestyle there influences relationships in Japan and how they are carried out. I was also inspired by the artwork by Japanese artists.

What poetic techniques did you use in “The thin walls of Japan”?

I use alliteration, metaphor, dialogue, imagery, with a reliance on sounds, images, silences, and short phrases and sentences.

Please note that works on the Canadian Literature website may not be the final versions as they appear in the journal, as additional editing may take place between the web and print versions. If you are quoting reviews, articles, and/or poems from the Canadian Literature website, please indicate the date of access.