Zozo-ji

Zozo-ji

 Buddhist temple, Tokyo


         One cry from a lone bird over a misted river
is the expression of grief,
         in Japanese. Let women
do what they need.
         And afterwards knit a red cap, pray—

In long rows, stone children in bibs and hats, the smell of pine and cooled
         earth—

It was a temple
         for the babied dead. I found it via the Internet.

Where they offered pinwheels
         and bags of sweets
for the aborted ones, or ones who’d lived
         but not enough…

Moss-smell, I can project there.

Azaleas
         pinking the water.

When her lord asked her again how it died, she said
         As an echo off the cliffs of Kegon.

 Photography by Paolo Patrizi

Photography by Paolo Patrizi

                    
ukiyo: in Japanese it sounds like “Sorrowful World”

winds trying to hold each other
         in silken robes

what in English sounds like “Floating World”

a joke on the six realms in which we tarry

what they called the “Sorrowful World”:
         wheel made of winds
    
trying to cling to each other

 Photography by Paolo Patrizi

Photography by Paolo Patrizi


Zozo-ji

By
Dana Levin