Tuesday Poem

A Nude

I long for Chieko’s naked body.
Full of modesty
Awe-inspiring as a constellation
Undulating as a mountain range
Always covered in a thin veil of mist
Her form was endlessly sheathed in dew.
I remember the smallest details
….. of her naked body—
Even the small mole on her back—
And still now
These memories, polished by time
Glimmer and shine.
My destiny is to give birth
Once more, by my hands
To that naked body
This is my fate, and
Only for this do I eat
Meat and vegetables from the fields
Rice, wheat and butter
For when Chieko’s nude is left
…. for the world
Only then can I, at last
Return back to nature.

by Kōtarō Takamura (1883-1956)
Translated from the Japanese by Leanne Ogasawara
from Asymptote