Something not to be painted, but set
to music, Tanizaki wrote. Dusk,
when their light is the clearest,
My husband and I walk on the grass,
smelling of beer and garlic.
I teach him a song that accompanies the hunt:
Ho, ho, ho-taru come out;
the water this side flows sweeter.
Had I known how sweet the water is
in Illinois, I would have felt less
afraid flying back from Tokyo, to reunite with him
who doesn’t speak my mother tongue
and I am not much of a translator.
Again this summer, my friend told me,
the local pharmaceutical company has hired
children to “harvest” fireflies. Are you allowed
to write a poem with the word
“enzyme” in it?
So remote a song, far from being
desperate, signals flash on and off
of their own accord—
my husband and I are watching now
from our separate spots.