Photo by Jason Knott
Atsuko
by Genny Lim, from Winter Place

She sits    in a slip
    mirror in hand
staring at the tear stains
    plucking her brows
(she will slice out two feline lines)
    to feathered arches
Little Takashi screams
    but she is deaf
    as she dreams
    of Tokyo, Nagasaki, Kabashima . . .
    the friends back home
    who envy her
       art deco penthouse
       blood rubies and
       cultured pearls dipped in Chanel
       the invisible paradise
       that keeps her
       regal in poverty's eyes

She talks of the injustices of living
    in Manhattan . . .
    I go nowhere no more.
    I nod, Yes.
    I feel better you here now.

    The pinched porcelain skin laughs back
    at her from the glass
She rouges the lips to
    a puffy leaf    blood on snow
She applies the blue shadow
    like a Vogue model
       caught between pages

copyright 2001, Genny Lim

Back to Interview

More Poetry