Before Seppuku

Our exchanges
on the bare tatami mat
were side glances
and at times in syllables.
He smiled a little
when my kimono fell
off my shoulders
and flaunted my nape.
The halt in his nodding
did not stop me;
I loosened the fundushi
and freed his thighs.
His arms were gentle;
the porcelain vase
and the ikebana flower
did not move.
My fastened lips 
tight on the igusa pillow,
I counted the sound
of skin and then his sigh.
That’s all I remember
besides Thirst
for Love and the blade
of his cruel katana.

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