[Letter of Love] To Ojichan.
I imagine you on the day the war ended in a black kimono,
the voice of Emperor Hirohito on the radio as you kneel
to the sound of a god reduced to static, the kami
in whose name soldiers molded their bodies into knives
flung into the faces of the Allied enemy. A poisoned kiss:
one life sacrificed for the hope of a dozen kills.
A month more & your plane might have tumbled like a kite
& yet you are alive, the world now turning, a kaleidoscope,
the room upside down & sideways, the facts you knew
flipped to lies, words all ajumble, your knuckles
white knobs clenched by your side. You: a child kidnapped
into war, brainwashed to dream of death as a kind of kindness.
Once I overheard a teenaged boy call my brother Kamikaze
as a joke. You reached out to twist my mouth into a knot.