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Ann Fisher-Wirth – Ⅰ


“Mystery,” “depth,” “darkness,” “beauty”—

the essence of Japanese Noh drama, in which

ghosts often appear in a dream or vision.



Now you creep back into this room you love,

Silent, cold, with the night sea encircling,

To garnets that flow from your jewelry box

Down the black table. Small fire—and your hands,

Unappeased, remember the world,

Remembering red. Before this loneliness.


Now let us make it as it used to be.

A room where we can sit, where we’re at home.

Let us unfold these strange, upholstered chairs

For which you made the pillows long ago.

Pillows the color of wheat, and amber,

Topaz, snowy, golden—smooth or slubbed silk—


Somehow they also fold up to nothing.

Let us arrange the chairs for conversation

That you have lined against the walls, like chairs

On an abandoned stage set, left behind

When you went wherever it was, shut down

The house, shut down your breath, shut down your eyes.