Sophia Terazawa

To Shower After Four Days

To Shower After Four Days

You may, in the comfort of your bed,
swear off loneliness as lack of inspiration.

Then, as if by smell, you sense some
room is burning, must be burning

by no one’s fault but yours. To come
without instructions. Insert here, a platitude:

an apple a day keeps the crippling drive
to call in sick away because. The Master.

Because. The Internet? Because it hurts.
To dream. In so far as to sip this country

and all its sorrows all at once, to gulp
the woman sprinting barefoot through her canon:

reed of mud, swamp and painted glory, image
after image on their phones. You think

we must be going crazy as a people.
To wash off all this blood, whose hues

we cannot name but near pastel, falsetto,
there, our own two hands. The First World waits.

It always does, for in each corner of our beds,
we cannot cry much more than this. To sleep.

To pay one’s rent. If possible, to fold
that naked body like a balm, like gauze,

to hold each other as a limb, to swear off
Wi-Fi, Uber, Love. And more. To wait!

To Vlog. To pay one’s rent again. In this
full-length pond above your bed, you stare
    and count the days.

Day One

A provocation, unlike any other, ask me if the panther preys on Cú Chulainn, the boy, who in his legend killed a hound, becomes the hound.

I heard that in his howling, Milo turned into a man. If only it could be so easy.
Man becoming Man becoming shroud, oblivious to melodrama,

such as the kamoshika, or Japanese goat-antelope, which, grazing in the snow despite no acorns left to eat, marks her earth with vinegar and salt,

such as a link between our solitude and something holy. I get depressed when losing one more winter to the whorl of Wikipedia, to find no myth    that we can truly believe in.

Day Two

I’d rather
write a new myth.
Let it grit

between my molars
until dust
turns into shine.

I’d rather
uproot memory
instead of

sleeping in its lies.
I’d rather
summon my own hero,

to guide her
by the hand and ask
to please

sign Here and Here.
Consent is
not a contract but

permission
to feel safe among
each other.

Day Three

If this illness had a name, it would be failure after failure or confinement or that with which we stalk our idols almost daily, who’d rather be celebrity if nothing else, would rather be in Hollywood.

If knowing that forgiveness feels like starting over, perhaps I wouldn’t have to be here, a music video in the shape of a heart, an elephant is an elephant is one shot in the dark, rolling in that beat like lyrics strung together just like this, to recite what feels good, if nothing else, I’d rather be a hypnotist.

Oh, boom. Oh, boom. Oh, boom.

Day Four

This is the fugitive
  with whom we’ve had some part,   the timid face in soft

              diplomacy.

I should shower.
  I really stink of being woken up   to this pace of progress,

              as Paolo Nutini

sings in “Iron Sky,”
  that’s fast becoming our minds.   I neither take this gloom

              as mere coincidence

nor this generation
  who’s fast becoming slow-footed,   un_____ful, sick and sicker.

              Leave it to the elders

to diagnose what they
  no longer see, a swarm of locusts   in a field of groaning tanks,

              retired, thus insisting

life is better,
  so much better than before,   meanwhile, an earthquake rocks

              another city to submission,

black birds dropping
  from the sky in thousands upon   thousands. Leave it to the ones

              who suddenly feel sad

for no immediate reason
  but a lifetime of some system working   slowly through our bones,

              a cancer, then a nation,

over fear and into freedom, oh, that’s life.