by Christine Marshall

after Hokusai’s Sazai Hall at the Temple of the Five Hundred Arhats

you hold my hand not
noticing the lavender
in my other hand
the sky is not blue mother
like my ignored love token

at last I can rest
untangle the cutting strap
oh my sore shoulders
we are invisible here
with mountains more exquisite

my body is turned
elbow almost touching your
sleeve of indigo
you stare faraway ahead
unreachable as the view

do they think I’m mad?
a pointing hand raised skywards
my white arse on show
can they see the wooden teeth
rising by the vast black heap?