Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Only the Sky

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Only the Sky

Article excerpt

1

It was early. Many

were barefoot. Some

stole clogs from doorsteps

and bolted, as if

staying in motion

could keep them alive

at ground zero.

Hiroshima blistered

at sea level.

It was the Catholic feast

of Jesus glorified

on Mt. Tabor,

Luke writes

the hot about Jesus

was. so great his raiment

tamed white

and glistering.

The apostles

to behold this

transfiguration

must have

shielded their eyes.

2

Tanaka Kiyoku

fleeing the city on fire

saw "a giant tree burning

from its middle."

Did she know the hard

inner pith of a tree

is called heartwood?

There is no heartwood

in the family of trees

called ficus religiosa,

or bodhi,

beneath which Buddha sat

to be the light.

It is said these trees,

having no heartwood,

are truly empty. …

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