Missionary Okiagari

Now this quiet seems quiet.
Now these pallid proclivities.
Now I swallow hard behind
the chickadee tree, 
institutional glass,
ugly starfruits. 
Now little Poetry Priest
gets up. 
Now thick, round rainmaker
tightens laces 
woven through bootholes.
Now seahorses swallowing my toes.
Now here’s your big brash girl—
with a spadix in her teeth, wanting so much.


Okiagari-koboshi, “the getting-up little priest” is a traditional Japanese doll. The toy is made from papier-mâché and is designed so that its weight causes it to return to an upright position if it is knocked over. Okiagari-koboshi is considered a good-luck charm and a symbol of perseverance and resilience.

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