“… in the forests outside Kyoto: where virgins purified themselves prior to leaving for the great shrines of Ise …”
We were three friends.
You quit one. Close to him
& thinking you unjust
I could not go to you.
I went to your house one day,
you were not there. I stood by the gate
trying to explain my heart to your wife,
it was no good; I knew we
were through too
Tonight I find the lines you copied
out for me to see a day of Noh
how rich this image is, the virgins
in pale kimonos in those luxurious groves
with all that journey, that majesty
of the great Ise shrines, toriis set
out in bay, before them.
We sat once in your yard & talked.
Blossoms blew. A dog came up & puts its
muzzle to an empty tin. The splendor
gone, the fall, an era, a way
First man I loved.