All the dead melt,
And summer grass stands in clumps.
(Am I coming and going
inside a dream?)
The Chinese bellflower lifts its pale blue flame.
Hens kick up sand with fierce claws.
Unable to bear it,
small insects contract their bodies in.
In the background, my mother is crushed.
I become like water.
The cat with the bulging eyes
stares fixedly at this.
from Nine Poems
by Aoyama Miyuki
translated by Malinda Markham
also from Antioch Review, Winter 2004