Setsuko Hara

A bristling fir
whispered about my vanishing. The great silence.

How, fade to black,
I, the girl of your dreams am also this tan middle-aged man
I swept into suits
and hanged. No marriage, your Eternal Virgin
in black and white. Black
and white flips a skirt, a frown until I, so famous,
fly like a buck into woods no one can see.

They knock. I don’t live here, I say.
I keep the cedar door to.


Here in the house, a moth bats
a lantern, holding to a flame-opulent scrim.

Slatted sandals. This clatter of plums —
I’m a chime
films end with
after twenty years of poses,
striding into the fake hall as you wanted
tilting my head
to a crinoline kimono. Catapulted to billboards
glutting the seashore, I lived this thought:

No one’s going to burn my bones
until smoke stops its creep from the kettle.
No smoked femur of mine will
mix in water;

a wash to paint a portrait of sad ether
a black to give the impression of bottomless eyes
filled with whatever you

The blunt kite
of appearing, and now I shade the hanging wash,
my hand
a visor, my hand breaks up old ash.

The sun an unexpected hand.
I say, behind the door,
She doesn’t live here.


It’s been years since I tired, tiptoeing for light meters.
The fecund night of other people’s feelings
and now I hide,
a black LP played in perpetuity.

I brush the air unseen. Is life disappointing?



Kurosawa. Ozu. Narusa. Inagaki.
Go on, claim with all names,
grab noise at sea, and unplanned seafoam chilling my calves
for the twenty-third time. You can’t
film this yourself. Out there
withers a million me’s in celluloid.
I accepted your fifty-cent tickets —

that hardly assuaged
my brother struck by a train before my eyes,
hardly your tripod
my face gone among chrysanthemums
and today,
a long still of myself:

Radishes in rain.
Oyster-dumb, not hoping for grit or a pearl.


I feel your undying admiration,
tiny boxes of white cream on spoons.

Snow lands on everything you knew of me
Snow beyond a dry indigo curtain
this backwards, unseen breath.

Into a kettle’s voice I disappear,

a smile useless without a fence.

My heart thuds
an all-interior vista
almost big
as what you loved so much, the idea
of this steady sea— these happy eyes.

Cynthia Arrieu-King is an assistant professor of creative writing at Stockton College in New Jersey. Her poems have or will appear this year in LIT, The Lumberyard, Black Warrior Review, Forklift Ohio and the new horseless press anthology on collaboration.