For Eiko & Komo

dragging her fingernails across the air as she comes

stage left, he steps from darkness into his flesh

under the minatory glare of X the flexed

tendons of his fingers, her eyes and

lips flare when he stumbles

she is aware without looking

almost they embrace the

vessels and nerves of their cheeks under

thin strata of fascia when

her mouth breaks black open

when stage right he exits cupping the wound

when she cries out (in Japanese)

“I see the world upside down”

Forrest Gander’s books include Core Samples from the World, and several books of translation: Fungus Skull Eye Wing: Selected Poems of Alphonso D'Aquino, Watchword by Pura López Colomé, and (with Kyoko Yoshida) Spectacle & Pigsty: Selected Poems of Kiwao Nomura.

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