Inochi no umi, shi no umi


In less than two weeks the disaster
will hemorrhage out of the headlines
onto page whatever,
its span done faster than the brief
half-life of iodine—but for now,
with a dozen aftershocks still to Richter,
an old woman stands alone
in a flooded field of debris, no human
screen to frame her, chanting
yonaoshi, yonaoshi:
May the world be restored.
Sea of life, sea
of death—my soul seeks out a mountain
that can stand in this surge.

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