Kimochi-ga-ii: the shuddering of my heart

by Keiko Shibata




evening shadows dance

on the walls and ceiling

covered with calligraphic prints

the ground trembles without knowing

flowers quiver in colorful pots

a morning stillness arrives wet with rain

last night was dreamlike

kimochi-ga-ii is the heart’s theater

low whispering, breathing, throbbing

turning my morning face

find a wrinkleless sheet

were you a mirage in my head

or, off to your work, it’s just as well

the windows are streaking with tears

noise in the street disarms the quiet

I listen while finishing my bath,

towel in hand, gaze in the mirror

but it is rude to stare I learned as a child

the mark on my skin speaks for itself

I slip on clothes then boil water

powder in cup, whisk for harmony

sip tea and eat rice ball, a dawn ritual

android buzzes with message from friend

no time for rhyme, so I wear a raincoat

hurried walk to board the crowded train

the university is only minutes away

students enter the mind’s space

but how long shall I endure

without the shuddering of my heart.