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no crying over spilt

no milkstork at the bombed-out shrine in Hamamatsu
no wholesomeness three sizes bigger, fatter

my mother said that people brewed the tender leaves that steeped
in fragrant matcha, mastered yeast
from rice the poets tended

no kine that cattled cud—no farmers choking on the gases

who were these half-calf kids who schooled me in belonging?
who pyramided pap? how did I learn to skim secretions? Mustache
Hershey’s trick to make it chocolate

herding, as I did, into brand. The agency of likeness
what’s 2 percent of fitting in?

They’ll never love you, my mother said, and so I bleached and fanned
these lines, sniffed and rolled, massaged in handfuls—perhaps over nurtured
made my bed with poets drunk on sake—

the grain hauled up from the flooded fields in nets, like fish
the brew I tried to master
You have to bend like the bamboo, my mother said

until the snow in Sudo
Honke falls again

until the last
intuitive bottle


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