—after a woodcut by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)
Tight-fisted blinds dole out moonlight,
old friends drink wine, compose poems.
A woman alone in a garden lets scarlet
sleeves languish across a mirror pool.
The koi below stare at this crimson ceiling,
compare the lady’s skin to the moon’s whiteness.
Hearts stay locked in battered lacquered boxes;
smiles stay hidden behind painted ivory fans.
Old friends drunk on wine. Love poems.
Tight-fisted blinds. Moonlight strewn across the floor.
Denise M. Rodgers
from her book The Scholar’s Daughter
Louisiana Literature Press, 2008
Used with permission of the poet.