“Roadblock 4 (I Am the Threshold)” by Kiwao Nomura (trans. Eric Selland)

I am the threshold

Without dimension
Without comfort
Here is my other self
Made to stand on its toes

While writing the character for ‘grave’ (墓)
I detect the smell of ‘India ink’ (墨)
Or it seems that way, I’m sure of it
My other self
The one who dances

Between stalks of white horseweed
How far … how far
Stretching all the way to the end of summer
The train tracks rusted red

One threshold overlaps another
When held, there are any number of places you can rest
O dancing one
Fragments of sparkling faces fall
All along the furrow of your spine

Like a benediction

And when it falls on me
O dancing one
You have already departed silently from the threshold
And again from somewhere
The smell of India ink

The threshold
Diligently mixes the murmur of voices with hushed silence

It’s only me
The threshold …

from Nomura’s lovely book The Day Laid Bare (ヌードな日) (Isobar Press, 2011, 2020)