To the Fugu

1 August 2012

I cannot see her tonight
I have to give her up
So I will eat fugu
– Buson

 
To kiss you is to mimic your own stunned face:
small-mouthed, teeth slightly bared.
But you refuse to flirt, giving nothing beyond
that slope-headed stare: not even girlish aspirations.
And yet, such potential within that provincial body!
This could bloom into something beautiful:
a chrysanthemum or crane.
Eight chances I will give you, for what’s love
without uncertainty, those few tingling doubts –
a growing numbness in the throat.
 
 

Fugu: Japanese for pufferfish (literally translating to ‘river pig’),
which has neurotoxic properties. Also refers to the notorious dish made from the animal
which, if not prepared properly, can cause death by asphyxiation.

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