SELF-PORTRAIT AS A STUDIO GHIBLI SOUNDTRACK
after Joe Hisaishi
At the train station, I promise to tell her the truth:
that I’ll never be the rain after a wildfire
or a summer heavy with honeycombs.
In my dreams, ivory wolves slip among us,
and a copper sun devours long grass.
On the side of the mountain where the light
never touches, trees whittle the wind hollow.
A gun blooms from my mouth
aimed at my ugly, beautiful sister.
How do I tell her about my canyon-carved spine,
this heart: a terrible sforzando. That wolves
hunt their prey into dawn’s final drum.
All my life, I’ve chased after poems I’ve loved and hated
and every single one that ran away.
Now I capture our war, the notes red
and slick in my hands, a silver line rising
from the oboe. The train slows. Between us: a platform
or a symphony. A chord breaks loose,
and I know how this ends: my soldier-boy words
marching over the cliff, smoke and iron surging
against a horn. My sister—gone,
the song thrumming away, leaving nothing
but deer roaming through the forest.