The Lost Country

Fall 2015 • Vol. 4, No. 1

issn 2326-5310 (online)

Anata—After Seiki’s Study for an Ancient Romance: Man and Maiko, 1896

By Matthew Walker

This work was published in the Fall 2015 issue of The Lost Country. You may purchase a copy of this issue from us or, if you prefer, from Amazon.

I am a colorist, a signifier, and entertainer,
disclosing memories that bloom in silent configurations.

Darling, once I served you; now I am left here to reimagine you:
grey swaths drip from your back; you turn your barren face.

Oh, I’ve loved this draft of you, this absence that, for too long
has been a simple face not worth describing.

You’ve planted the residence of your empty cheek,
breathless lips, on my forehead again.

Though I invoke this meager clasp of recollection,
I’ve extended the inevitable, the moment before your departure.

Resting on your shoulder like cherry blossoms on water
adds only so much pigment to your body:

my yukata, robes I wore that night, still bleed
onto your tunic–their blues empty.

There must have been a phrase that would have finished this,
some utterance I could have whispered,

as we were so close: words that would have painted
a complete picture of my love for you.