By Eric Ekstrand Eric Ekstrand
Clamber out of the morning river with water beads like fish eggs clung
to your pubis the calluses on your buttocks from sitting, writing
on flat rocks, your goose-pimpled thighs—the bumpy tongues of two dogs licking   
each other—and river-slather and slather at the edge of my mouth.

You are smiling, straining out your hair, flicking your hands, and then
see me watching you with the cloth and pots I was taking to wash.
Before I have time to be embarrassed, the smile lifts into your eyes.

Each “Appleblossom” is a verse translation from the Japanese of a short selection from the notebooks of Chiri, Bashōs traveling companion during the years between Withered Chestnuts and Travelogue of Weatherbeaten Bones.

Source: Poetry (October 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the October 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2008
 Eric  Ekstrand


Eric Ekstrand lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with his husband, Danny, and his father, Ken. He teaches writing at Wake Forest University. He is the recipient of a 2009 Ruth Lilly Fellowship awarded by the Poetry Foundation and graduated from the University of Houston with an MFA in creative writing in 2010. His first full-length collection, Laodicea, was selected by Donald Revell for the Omnidawn 1st/2nd Book Prize and . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Nature, The Body

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