Fukushima Daiichi

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You told us about the samurai crabs that day,

why the child-emperor drowned, how folklore affected the shore.

The thinnest male I’d ever seen pulled out a blunt and smoked.

Everyone else focused on you, Kasa Professor,

but I trailed over the class with his breath, kept

my eyes on the clipboard you passed around, “For

relief efforts.” You never spoke. Only explained.

As an English major, I knew you would be an exclamation mark.

As an English major in the History of the Samurai, I didn’t know you would be studying the I.R.S.

The swords were scarier than the men, yet their ghosts were on a crab’s back.

I imagine my ghost as cigarette smoke flogging over an enamored classroom until I leave – only glancing back when the clipboard is returned.

We both knew it would be empty.

We both admitted it when we smelt the smoke.

The sinking ship already burned, and your dying wave is the confusion behind betrayal of a tradition to quench approaching starvation.

That final bite – the moment we are full – is where all history is lost. In the future, they will wonder where the crabs came from. But I won’t wonder about you.

You are not an exclamation mark. You were a question mark all along. But a mark, nonetheless.

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