Luisa Aparisi-França

Jorenji Temple When I call you it is 9am where you arebut dawn and dusk look much the same.For all I know, we are chasing the same thing.You are getting ready for the day, and Ihave already lived it can tell you that the temples here in Japanare beautifulthick with historythe many rings of wood interruptedby the carpenter's hand, whoever it wasthat carved the crestof the Tokugawa on Jorenji Temple.How I was ready to rush F out the door and our guide said wait—let him.So we stood by the doors, angry-faced statueson either side of us.You know more than me when it comes to these things. Only today did I learn what the Daibutsu washow to wash my hands before prayinghow to not expect the worst.Our guide stuck a bundle of burning incense in a small pitand wafted the smoke over her head. To cure whatever ails you, she said.The armed angry soldiers are called the Niowhich is like ninho or niñothe child in the nest.But here, so far away, I feel larger than myself.I am scouting ahead for the loose ends of the dayto show you where the pot hole isthe glass before it cracks.And when my job is doneand you are just beginning to riseI will hug the darkness to myselfand rest. Luisa Aparisi-França is a poet from Miami, Florida. She believes that language has the power to be a tool of empathy, and that poetry can connect people in the same way that it links consecutive thought. Follow her on Twitter @lapafranca.