Tsuetsuki Pass / Ishigaki Rin
Near Lake Suwa, in Shinshû,
I visited a distant relative.
The old woman I hadn’t seen for years was ill,
had lost words,
and was lying quietly.
The ridge that showed the rise and fall of
the many years and months of bringing up eight children—
where its small span ended,
the round dent in her ass, from there
she dropped a lively steaming form.
I climbed the height called Tsuetsuki Pass,
the Hachigatake Range opened into view;
the snow-clad mountains
lay in the distance.
The coldness of the white underwear that winter had her change into,
the warmth of her flesh showing under its collar—
my hands believed in them, somehow:
naked trees growing fluffily like downy hair,
clouds rising in the valley.
I found myself standing
at an overlook commanding two natures.
Under the clear sky
I pinched my nose and put up with the large beautiful thing.