Part of the Fairness

Ryo Yamaguchi

I wanted to earn something discreet: a bag of weather, a percentage of white noise,
the archaic technology of the automatic life; nothing could bother

to be in the foreground, which was part of the fairness; when I closed my eyes
it felt like someone was scooting a chair into the middle of my chest;

the exacerbated sky stretched tightly over a few months of spring,
the thwack of events sounding beneath its soft, dead hum; pause, correction,

finagling the purse in a seriously twitchy mood, snacks, burying probability
in the literalness of things; a boy walked through the electronics store

ringing a big, brass bell; I grabbed someone’s glove and handed it
to their non-gloved hand; a smirk, of some notable refinement, a tennis match

vaguely in the background, spring getting seated everywhere, the birds
and leaves and junk, the sound of gravel like a textured fluid trapped

in the machinery of sleep; I was shot once, you know, right in the knee cap;
bless the reprint, the smell of alkalies, the feathered stomach; one more, then,

for the ten minute span between towns; I guess it goes without saying that we are lost,
better about it in the soft mind, but still all of it a bit of an ordeal, a regimen

of divinatory flexures, squeezing the eye into the shape of a hand, watching
the sun break over the benches and crawl up the grass to my feet.

About the Work

Ryo Yamaguchi

Ryo Yamaguchi is the author of The Refusal of Suitors, published by Noemi Press. His poetry has appeared in journals such as The Iowa ReviewProdigal, and The Journal, among others. He also regularly reviews books for outlets such as Michigan Quarterly Review and NewPages. He lives in Chicago where he works at the University of Chicago Press. You can visit him at

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