How You Livin?

"Ueno Park, Tokyo," by Suda Issei 須田一政. From the series, 'Cries, at Ueno Park.' Courtesy of Arthur M. Sackler Gallery/National Museum of Asian Art.


like the air ain’t filled with
coarse windchimes
sirens loud as a jet in flight

the quick jabs
of a couple arguing about cheese
and face masks
and children at borders
borders of language
and knotted bellies

I tell you
it’s hard to sleep
when the news is a bare-
skinned sidekick

I try to harden my shell
make it marble
filled with filament
and nails

but how you livin
among the salt, ash, and slate
at your doorstep— all this
grit under your eyelids