木漏れ日

a lone figure intruding upon
the playground of the gods
hiding amongst pine trees
while hydrangeas bloom at the gorge.
cedars stretch their branches towards
the dusk sky, as faint sunlight
filtering through the leaves
presses against my back.

I pause in my tracks,
basking in the songs of cicadas,
marking the time for me to reach
the nearby shinto shrine to offer prayers
and thanks for completing this quest.

the legs like granite jizo statues, the stomach
rumbles, craving for chicken nanban.
silence at Takehiko shrine. sunlight
becomes moonlight. the torii gate
glowing under the komorebi with its
vermilion hues compel me to wander
in the playground of the gods.

as night sinks into the gorge
the distant chimes of the kagura
overshadow the cicadas.
I ask the rising moon:
when will I return here?

YQ is a final-year student at the National University of Singapore who loves learning about Southeast Asia and badass warrior women. She is currently working on an urban fantasy novel that takes place in Southeast Asia. She has been featured in the 2018 Singapore Poetry Writing Month anthology.

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