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Yoko Danno is Japanese, living in Kobe. She writes poetry solely in English. She is the author of poetry books and chapbooks, including “Epitaph for memories” (The Bunny and the Crocodile Press, Washington, D.C., 2002), "The Blue Door," a collaboration with James C. Hopkins (The Word Works, Washington, D. C., 2006), "a sleeping tiger dreams of manhattan: poetry, photographs and sound" by Danno, Hopkins, and Bernard Stoltz (The Ikuta Press, Kobe, 2008) and "trilogy & Hagoromo: A Celestial Robe" (The Ikuta Press, 2010). Her translation, "Songs and Stories of the Kojiki" was published by Ahadada Books (Toronto/Tokyo, 2008).


fire realm

mountains are ablaze,
        a fire god awakened
            by a slash of lightning
                                at the rock –

memories of minerals revived
        when the earth shakes
             revealing red chasms
                                like slit eyes –

a woman stumbles to her knees
        as she senses the tremor,
             her teeth chattering
                                with cold –

a shudder slides along
        the nape of her neck
             when she feels heat
                                beneath her feet –

at the back of her eyes
        lives a salamander –
            when will it be consumed
                                by its own fire?