Vermilion

Vermilion

Our neighbor, tall and smiling and generous, the
wife of one and mother of three, is sick. I did not
know it until I saw her in the garden, plucking
white jasmines for all gods she kept in her shrine,
beside that her long hair was short, and her skin
pale as yesterday’s old flowers, her forehead
without the big round vermilion dot. Nothing unusual
in her voice when she, in her regular cheerful tone,
asked me to visit for lunch. Continue reading “Vermilion”