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An old lady comes from the dark 
narrow living room and says, 

Welcome, Ms. Fujimoto.

I pay ten dollars and receive 
chrysanthemums in an empty 

bucket. Over the hill, 
I carry them to {your mother’s tombstone}1.

Tall granite reflects 
the summer sun holding 

cinerary urns. There are no 
trees, but cicadas are always 

loud. They are too loud. I almost 
forget why {I am here}2. 

When I return the bucket, 
the lady says, 

It will be {enough water}3 after sixty seven years.

And she gives me 
{a bottle of soda}4.

1{Your mother’s tombstone} is in Yagoto, Nagoya. She passed away in 1945 after bombs detached her left leg. Her last words were “Could I have water?” 3{Enough water} is never enough, same as never enough God to make peace. 2{I am here} to pray for peace after World War II, but I worry about too many other things; such as how to pay rent ($1200/ a month) and electric bills for the hottest summer. 4{A bottle of soda} is refreshing like a clear August cloud—innocent. Is God only human imagination? 

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