i’d see you on occasion
and wonder about your
peculiar moves in right
or at bat

i thought it was affectation
or, at best, some
eccentricity that was
interesting to watch

but i’ve come to know
it is the grace of japan i’m
watching, the kabuki warrior,
or even the code of some distant

or it’s the blood of the shinto
priest that runs through you

it’s all of these filtered through
hiroshima and nagasaki,
the spirit of your ancestors
purified in those crucibles

so what we get is the perfect
leap at the wall, the aligning of
the sword at the plate before
you set, and the bow
to adoring seattle fans
as you leave for
new york