tagNon-Erotic PoetryIn Japanese: Wakai

In Japanese: Wakai


The haunch in Yokuska was
a good time, spent mostly
in a sick sake haze with shipmates
all afternoon and later, with one-night
bed-mates until early next morning.

Decades pass and Mikki's
Gyoza & Noodle Snack stand is
no longer here, replaced with
a cheap Yen Shop carrying touristy,
plastic crap made in China.

Down the path, there's no more sushi
art revolving on bamboo mats,
but drinky holes in the wall
with business men falling off bar
chairs, cat-calling school girls.

The evening lights used glow here;
surprisingly, so did jazz.
Even they've been replaced
with hard neon, karaoke
spilling into the winding streets.

Everywhere smells like cigarettes,
beer and puke. I think it's always
been like this, but I never saw it
for what it was. The drunk's gaze
is shinier, but less enlightened.

I am disappointed in my youth,
hold my daugter's hand tighter
and find all postcard memories
a comfort, at 100‎¥ a pop.

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