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The Heat of Friction

摩擦熱
by Yumi Fuzuki
Translated from Japanese by
Jordan A. Y. Smith
Issue 29 Online Exclusive

君とすれ違うときの摩擦熱で
私はひそかに温まってきた。
ちいさな針穴を見つけては、
よろこんでいた。
別離のぬくもりは、
君とこれを分け合っているから
持続していたのだ。

生き続けていたらとほうもなくて、息の緒が細くねじれてしまった。今日も朝が来て、街がゆっくりと私たちを飲みほす。雨が降れば、それを理由に私たちは死ぬことができる……。殺めることはたやすく、絶えることもいとわない。けれど、ひそめた息をどのように取り戻すべきか。たとえば、ねずみ花火の回転をすり抜けて、くるぶしに火傷一つ負わずにいられたなら、この足を差し出そう。

私から全てをうばう火よ、
迎えに来た、と
挨拶ぶって手を握れ。
そしたら、私は振りほどく。
しばし間を与えたのちに。

君の背中を打ち、
揺さぶり、踏みしだき、
壊れろと声を投げ——
私はだんだん消えてゆく。
君の後ろで、
君の知らぬ間にいなくなる。
消えながら思う、
「一緒に居られる装置を愛して、
私は損なわれたいだけだった」。
私がほんとうに鈍くなってしまうまで
君は針先をなくさないで。
光をそっと貫いていて。

私の引いた地平線を忘れたんだね。
もう君の陽が落ちてくることはない。
こすれて
ふるえるほどに温かいこの身体。
燃え立つ風下で
なびく髪に抱かれている。

Friction from passing you by
lent me a secret heat.
Finding that tiny needle eye
gave me such joy.
Sharing that with you
prolonged the warmth
of separation.

Living on, our breaths and lives become preposterously, finely twisted. Today too, morning comes, the town slowly drinks us dry. If it rained, we could use that as an excuse to die…. Murder is a cinch, I don’t balk at dying. Yet how can I return the breaths I’ve concealed? Say for example, if I could slip through the gyration of a spiral firework without so much as a burn on my ankle, I’d bare my legs.

Fire that robs me of everything,
you’ve come to welcome me, I say,
and clasp its hand in greeting.
And like that, I am shaken undone.
In the granted pause.

I strike your back,
tremble, trample,
sling my voice commanding you to break––––
bit by bit, I vanish.
Behind you,
disappear before you realize.
As I vanish, I think,
“Loving the stage setting that placed us together,
I simply yearned to be injured.”
Until I’m fully inert,
don’t lose that needle.
Gently go on piercing the light.

Guess you forgot that horizon I traced.
Your sun will set no more.
Chafing,
this body heated to trembling.
Under blaze of wind
enwrapped in my fluttering hair.

 

____

 

Fuzuki Yumi,“The Heat of Friction” from Far Deeper than the Rooftops. Tokyo: Shichōsha, 2013.

Author
Fuzuki Yumi (b. 1991) is one of the youngest recipients of the Gendai Shi Techō Prize, the Nakahara Chūya Prize (both while still in high school), and the Maruyama Yutaka Memorial Modern Poetry Prize (2010). In addition to five critically-acclaimed volumes of poetry and essays, Fuzuki stays active with radio/television appearances, collaborations with dancers, fashion designers, artists, and poets. Her 2009 collection, In this Suitable World, This Unsuitable Me, has also been published in Finnish.
Translator
Jordan A. Y. Smith is a translator, poet, and Associate Professor of Japanese literature and comparative literature/cultural studies at Josai International University. He has translated poetry by Yoshimasu Gōzō, Saihate Tahi, Mizuta Noriko, Nomura Kiwao, Misumi Mizuki, and fiction from Alberto Fuguet and Fernando Iwasaki. Co-author of the poetry collection, √IC: Redux, with Nagae Yūki and Kanie Naha. He previously taught at CSU Long Beach, UCLA, Roger Williams University, Pepperdine University, and Korea University.