In the Book of Wind and Brass, Japan’s
companion volume to Tibet’s, a dead
child should be buried with a nut
closed in each white hand, so generations
later when her story is told still, the listener
can wander through the trees to find
the plot, framed, like a little door
beneath touching limbs, beneath a dark
tree-roof canvasing the light, each leaf
like a black flicker, the fidget of a spade,

or what might be inside the quiver
on the surface in an old man’s water
bucket, when he thought he saw her there,
so he turns quickly, his foot catches the bin
with his zōri, or his geta. The Book is quiet
on the subject of what to do when the dead
do not keep silent. This is the idea of Wind,
combined with the idea of doing nothing.
I trail off, guess what kind of nut grows best
from human hands. This is the idea of Brass.