Poetry - Issue 10 | September 2010

The Belle of Osaka

by Michael

The Belle of Osaka

On leave from the sanatorium,
I walk my departed mother’s house:
her bottle cap collection, portraits, pickles,
notes on the daughter she couldn’t marry off. 
If only I hadn’t stuttered, slouched
or blotched my makeup, if only I’d sashayed
like Princess Di, spoken French and played Chopin;
I’d have matched the whims of any man.
Now my legs creak with the stairs I climb
past kimonos folded and boxed.
My nephew should catch me if I fall
but he sleeps in the spare room, door open,
hugging quilts that mother patched.  I watch him breathe.
The grip that shaped me crowds my breath away.

About the author

Michael Morical is a freelance editor in Taipei. He has lived in Taiwan for twelve of the last twenty-five years. He has also spent extended periods in India, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong and China. 
His poetry has appeared in The New York Quarterly, The Pedestal Magazine, Rattapallax, and other journals. His first chapbook, Sharing Solitaire, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2008.

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