PoetryIssue 10 | September 2010

The Belle of Osaka

by Michael Morical

On leave from the sanatorium,
I walk my departed mother’s house:
her bottle cap collection, portraits, pickles,
notes on the daughter she couldn’t marry off. 
If only I hadn’t stuttered, slouched
or blotched my makeup, if only I’d sashayed
like Princess Di, spoken French and played Chopin;
I’d have matched the whims of any man.
Now my legs creak with the stairs I climb
past kimonos folded and boxed.
My nephew should catch me if I fall
but he sleeps in the spare room, door open,
hugging quilts that mother patched.  I watch him breathe.
The grip that shaped me crowds my breath away.

About the author

Michael Morical is a freelance editor in Taipei. He has lived in Taiwan for twelve of the last twenty-five years. He has also spent extended periods in India, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong and China. 
His poetry has appeared in The New York Quarterly, The Pedestal Magazine, Rattapallax, and other journals. His first chapbook, Sharing Solitaire, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2008.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok