The rooms lie low and hollow,
perforated by two stone gardens
enclosed in the center.
A lone hard chair hides in the corner.
The tatami mat, brown and warped,
gently springs beneath my steps;
this house only welcomes
travelers passing through.
But if only you knew
the stories I could tell you,
it whispers to me through the two holes
smashed into the side of a paper wall.
Prayer beads lie under a veil of dust on a low wooden desk
overlooking the rooftops of Kyoto.
I imagine their soft worn edges and the prayers of their owner
but all I can see from here is a smiling neon Jankara sign
and a politician's van lurching past, mechanically chanting