His roommate calls him imo, the potato,

just another hick flailing

in the city, caged

in his tiny shithole apartment,

the unpacked boxes collecting dust.


He sleeps in the closet where

the futons are kept, at night

walking back from work,

he dodges careless elbows

on streets zebra-striped with crosswalks,

the herds

of bodies all color motion murmurs

over traffic.


He gapes at skyscrapers

looming steel walls all around him

and sees in them the mountains

of Toyama, its swells of pine,

sees the rice fields

swaying in the narrow streets

and turns to the murky night his blank face,

the city lights bright as the stars

in a quiet dark.

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