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Search Janus Head               

Peter Junker



at one hour before sunrise in the heart
of Tokyo, in the hotel where radio
snooze alarms offer birdsong for those guests
whose memories of countryside linger.

Be with me on that low bed I recall
as lonely at dusk, when the radio
offered crickets and owlsong for my soul,
a restless foreigner there on business.

Be where the curtain can't avert the glow
of Shinagawa's searchlights from our eyes.


If I forget you, who will make me choose
my words with such care? I'm driving from work,
working the brake and the gas like a loom
treadle: weaving nowhere, fearing someday

I'll wake to find myself arrayed in shroud.
The stitch of a memory of beauty
is all the hint I have that in your arms
I have lay slain. But now you're on the lam

and I'm wrapped up in myself in my car
in my necktie from Hermes of Paris.


Coming down Pine Mountain, a white-tail doe
stopped me with her eyes. We watched each other
until I felt wrong in the long silence,
feeding on her presence. Francis, the saint,

came to mind, preaching to birds. So I said,
"The kingdom of God is here!" I told her,
"Spread the word!" She hitched her head up and down.
She sprang when I turned away. I had to

break camp soon and leave to live a new life,
watched by my words coming down Pine Mountain.