July 6, 2018

Three Poems by Hiromi Yoshida: "The Fallen Tree", "Dumpster Diving" and "Menstruation at Fifty"

Hiromi Yoshida has been described as one of Bloomington's "finest and most outspoken poets" by Tony Brewer, Chair of the Writers Guild at Bloomington. Winner of multiple Indiana University Writers' Conference awards, her poems have been published in Flying Island, "he Asian American Literary Review, Plath Profiles, Evergreen Review, Bathtub Gin, and The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society.

The Fallen Tree

Colossal crash overnight—
enigmatic, unplaceable sound
displacing my sleep, like one
Zen handclap. Vine-smothered trunk and branches had
reached skyward—plastically green, gigantically obdurate,
on the precarious concrete edge

till persistent rains eroded the sustaining
soil around tenacious roots, sprouting subterranean
tentacles among daffodils and peonies—regular bloom

each spring, improbable visitation in the backyard of the vacant
house next door. When the earth around the tentacled
roots splintered, the sky above the moss-laden

treetops shattered—producing a massive corpse
from which the green dryad departed
irretrievably—begging for unlikely

Dumpster Diving

Surplus of America,
debris of the Indiana University Bloomington
academic year 2014–2015
piled up high in the overflowing
dumpster at 417 S. Fess next door—
emitting stench of raw meat,
black buzz of flies like animate
watermelon seeds; buzzards

create havoc in their usual
pecking order—shadows diving
in and out, round each sharp,
rusty, curious corner—

flickering flashlights. Wet mass of melting
frozen fruit packages from Kroger—
blackberry juice oozing diluted purple
stain, like blurry hieroglyphics
inscribed in the blood of gods, disowned
and yet devoured. The

stench, the ooze, the compulsion, the shame—
the socioeconomically equalizing act of dumpster
diving makes us vultures
devouring the same carrion with varying gradations of

gratuitous grace.

Menstruation at Fifty

Menstruation at fifty remains
a vital possibility—stretching the elastic limit of statistical averages—despite Anne Sexton’s celebration of the gynecological phenomenon at merely forty (although she

speculates about children that could’ve been, as her biological clock ran down—contemplating the death that would be hers
approximately ten years after the enunciated fact).

So as my tribute to Anne,
and to all the women of the world for whom she wrote “In Celebration of My Uterus”:

I celebrate this monthly event—flowering red streamers in clear water when I relieve myself—resisting the flush into oblivion this rich life-giving blood—I gaze entranced by the fertile possibility unfolding origami petals—confirming itself each month, wondering, “Will this be the last?”

Are these hot flashes?
Or is the room temperature insufferable from central heating this much-anticipated febrile springtime? I spring forward

with DST, and perspire like a hothouse flower.

So today, my well-toned, caffeinated, gracefully sinewed, vitamin-enhanced
                 womansbody sings:

Praised be my gynecology, its elastic menstrual apparatus
                 my ovaries
                 my fallopian
                 my breasts
                 my cervix
                 my uterus

and all that lies in-between

all cardinal points (epithelial and epigrammatic)—
cancer-free and running clockwise toward months that will secrete their intentions, red origami petals paling.

Hiromi Yoshida

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