3 Poems

Ryo Yamaguchi

I Am Falling from the Red Balloon
I am falling from the red balloon.
I am falling in my hair and jacket from
the red balloon. It is a big desert.
There are no more people.
I tell myself I am falling because
I am. The red balloon is big.
It is a big balloon though little
by little it gets smaller. It is
an empty place inside my body,
an empty place through which I am
also falling. I once knew
others, those who are no
longer here, and we would turn
to us each and discuss
the things we could see. I am falling
through that, the things we
could see and discuss, and I am
falling, also, through the empty place
inside my body as I fall
through that, as I fall through the sky
from the red balloon. The world
is a circle, until it is a point. I
think that is part of what I know.
What I know is a circle, until it is a point.
It is a beautiful name that is mine.
I Skipped Over the Day in My Blue Shoes
I skipped over the day in my blue shoes,
in a blue skip skipped all the dumb blue
day. I hear I should not trust myself.
The hot taste is good, and the big round
sleep. Sleeping like this in my blue shoes.
My quantity of thoughts are drawn.
I could be completely underwater.
Should probably try to swim out of
the blue. But I think that’s for another day.
I always knew I couldn’t sing. Never
got up early enough, nor stayed enough
awake. Just thinking it bluely, that’s
a life, maybe only half a one is all
you need. Every other day you can tie
shut. With your shoelaces. Your long
blue laces. I think that’s always been with us
and will always remain. It’s an old song,
though I told you I can’t sing.
Woke up this morning, feeling around
for my shoes.
When I Speech the Talk Comes Back
When I speech the talk comes back and I am
again on the yellow farm waiting
for the road. Speech time has tall seeings thought up
prettily with this fence legging down the road
to an itty-bitty creek. Yellow grasses in soft wind softness.
Tapping the microphone the bottom of my body
drops away, and I am afraid to speech. Hello, I
make up. Yellow lights dot the perimeter
of the audience. Someone’s in the long of appearing
on the road, and I wait, about to speech the outside
to the outside of it. It may be like a fever,
this speech, a yellow hypnosis, but that
I don’t see tall above the speech of it. All I hear is a
counting down, the yellow lights and the yellow
fence posts of the road. Pinching the skin
between my thumb and forefinger, thinking
and what if they do not appear? What if I speech funny
instead, and that funny speech all they hear? Yellow
are my profits, and the sunshine won’t ever end.
RYO YAMAGUCHI is the author of the poetry collection The Refusal of Suitors, published by Noemi Press. His poems have recently been anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2020 and The Best Small Fictions 2020 and have recently appeared in journals such as Bennington Review, Sink, and The Volta, among others. He is a staff critic for Harriet Books from the Poetry Foundation, and his other critical writings can be found in outlets such as Jacket2, the Kenyon Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review. He lives in Santa Fe, NM. Please visit him at plotsandoaths.com.