Cody Lee Rhodes


Drunk at Kamogawa’s Edge

I think about Kyoto.
The Kamogawa comes to mind—
the city’s center, a cornerstone
of after-school, late night social
networking—and I compose

a haiku about the river,
the way it made me feel then
when I recall it now:

    I sit at the riverside
    of Kamogawa and ask
    where the ducks have gone.


But when I was there, I never sat
at river's edge and questioned
the meaning of the water's name.
Something about ducks and rivers,
if I translated it right.

I just cared about late night sake
forays and amateur guitarists
pouring their hearts out for coins
from the bottoms of pockets.

The ducks and where they had gone
never meant much to me,
nor seemed to mean much
to couples sitting, squeezing hands
on the bank. This boundary between

reflection and recollection strikes me
when thinking about my time sitting
somewhere close to completely smashed
at the edge of the Kamogawa River.





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