the city has many names but never the one you call out
Xiao Yue Shan
the compulsion to find faces in all things is a living curse
seeking visions from between the pines
counting figures from the outlines of glass towers
which are the first to pink with dawn
everything is terrifyingly human while walking alone
in tokyo and being tracked by
the sound of laughing coating the night-windows thickly
shadows sheening bright as oil
and various moments shredded from the collapsing year
send light from afar
aren’t we intimately familiar with the limits of reason
shapes in the darkness which look like a woman you love
not being a woman you love and getting lost after all this time
of living here because lights are suddenly dimming
as one passes them
there are only small stars tonight
and even they make language
Xiao Yue Shan is a poet born in China and living in Tokyo, Japan. Her first chapbook, how often I have chosen love (Frontier Poetry) came out in the spring of 2019. Her website is