Ashes of Love – 愛の灰 Ai no hai

When last I saw you
you had tears on your cheeks
and a boarding pass in your hand.
I let you go knowing if I tried
to stop you
eventually, you would still leave.
What was our love against
a dream, ambition, the culture
that made you unique and was
part of the reason I loved you?
Part of the reason I love you still?
An envelope of photographs,
letters with words of love,
dried cherry blossoms,
a lock of hair…
cold ashes now.
I burned the envelope
in a consuming fire
of flames, grief, anger.
One day, I will toss the ashes
into the wind.
One day…
but not today.

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Edward Hotspur
    Apr 15, 2014 @ 19:13:30

    This is sad, yet cleansing. Right? I mean, it seems that way. I don’t know. What do you think? I’m completely shooting in the dark here.


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 15, 2014 @ 19:23:50

      You put that bullet right through the bullseye. What will really be cleansing is when I finally open the box holding the ashes and dump them into the ocean. Every time I think I’m ready, I put the box back up on its shelf in the closet. My husband is a good man. He said a few weeks ago I was muttering in Japanese in my sleep. He never asks what, just that I did it and if I want to talk. I hug him and thank him. It’s hard to think that as much as Masashi loved me, he was still so constricted by his culture and the reality that married to a white woman if we had gone back, his medical career would have been non-existent.


      • Edward Hotspur
        Apr 15, 2014 @ 19:51:18

        I have a friend who is married and constricted by his culture and religion somewhat – he doesn’t want to be, yet still is. We’ve talked about the problems this type of thing has caused with his parents and wife, and that it will cause when he and his wife have kids.

        It’s silly and sad. But, it’s easy for me to say, because other than my marriage of 18 years, I was never with a woman for more than about 10 months. I just knew it wasn’t right. And it hurt – well it hurt them, I guess.

        But I have no idea what it feels like to lose someone that I was truly in love with. So I feel for you. Your husband is extremely tolerant and understanding. You have, in many ways, ended up with a much better partner.


  2. dragonlife
    Apr 15, 2014 @ 20:14:42

    The title is a bit too sad…….


  3. Line
    Apr 15, 2014 @ 23:04:43

    Oh, this is so sad! (I don’t mean that in a bad way, we also need good poems about sadness so we can express all emotions) I have so many times stood at airports with a boarding pass, crying, not wanting to leave, then the staff at the airport tries to comfort me and I feel embarrassed, but I still cry, even through security! (But it has not been because anyone has died, I just cannot take any kind of goodbyes) I think this poem is beautifully written! Thank you so much for sharing it! 🙂


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