This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Erika Eckart, is from Drowning in the Floating World by Meg Eden, released by Press 53 in 2020.
for Naoto Matsumura
I know what it feels like to be Adam:
to be the only man in a town
of animals, left to name them:
Miracle the Dog, Boss the Ostrich—
If the animals could name me,
what would I be called?
God said to Adam that man
is not meant to be alone,
but I find fellowship from the dogs
and pigs I free onto the streets.
They go in and out of houses,
wearing whatever falls on them.
Some days, they come out in old noren
partitions, suit jackets, schoolgirl dresses.
From a distance, I mistake them
for my missing neighbors:
Mr. Takei the burial man,
Mrs. Yamada at the onsen.
Only once they roll around in a muddy field
do my neighbors disappear,
replaced by animals.