Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Winter 2007, vol 5 no 4
 

TANKA

An Xiao
 

reading tanka
late into the night
no candles
save for the glow
of my monitor

 

8th grade yearbook
i miss the child
who once
placed so much trust
in this floating world

 

as i lie alone
in my hotel bedroom
i wonder what
he imagined when he
watched me on the train

 

i know the desires
behind those hungry eyes
hurry up
and grab me
take me as you wish

 

my lust for
you is much stronger
than my distaste
for the tobacco encrusted
on your tongue

 

amidst screaming
neighbors and a murder
around the block
i dream of a life far
from these gritty streets

 

tears
only a true immigrant
would understand -
clutching photos of
my lola's funeral

* lola = grandmother in Tagalog

 

rain falls slowly
as i reach for you
tonight
if i were not numb to feeling
i'd let myself miss you

 

annoyed by
so much brevity in all
these haiku,
i scribble out tanka
to appease my angst

 

i love resting
my head in your lap
and watching
the sun set behind
the jersey sky

 


An Xiao An Xiao is a devoted poet and photographer grounding her urban photography in the aesthetics of short Japanese verse and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Her poetry has been published in Simply Haiku, M. Kei's Fire Pearls and Michael McClintock's upcoming Streetlights. She has read her work in numerous venues across New York City and presented her tanka and photography at a recent Haiku Society of America meeting in New York. Her work can be found online at http://www.anxiaophotography.com.