Edo After Long Absence

Cherry blossoms weep along the boulevard where petals cover the feet of tourists. On the corner a man wipes the wet from his iPhone. I spring forward, leaving him to the chaperoned mercy of uniformed schoolboys. I pause before a wooden teahouse. A woman in kimono poses, her obi streaked with centuries of gold-threaded repair. For a moment I am not the only broken thing on this boulevard lined with cherry blossoms. The woman bows a smile. Our fingers weave pink petals from the air.

Roberta Beary identifies as gender-fluid, and writes to connect with other trauma survivors. Their prose poem “After You Self Medicate with Roethke’s The Waking Read by Text to Speech App” won 1st prize in the 2022 Bridport Prize. Their work appears in The New York Times, Rattle, MacQueen’s Quinterly, 100 Word Story, Litro Magazine, Atticus Review, and other publications. Their poetry collection, “The Unworn Necklace”, received a finalist award from Poetry Society of America. They are the haibun editor at Modern Haiku. Twitter: @shortpoemz. robertabeary.com.