Volcano Pilgrim
Five months in Japan as a wandering poet

Tokyo, 2

Running the length of the subway floor, parallel to the wall, are four raised strips of yellow plastic, set in yellow tiles. What are these for? you ask Manami.  Manami works for your sponsoring agency, and as you speak only about ten words of Japanese, and read none at all, she has graciously offered to escort you to Minato city hall to help you apply for an alien registration card. For blind people, she says. She seems sleepy. Perhaps jet lag is contagious.

Coming up an escalator into the main station, the passageway is suddenly filled with the warm brown smell of cinnamon – someone, somewhere, has just opened an oven door and taken out a tray of fresh-baked buns. The two of you stop, sniff at the air, suddenly awake, then each of you catches the other doing the same thing, and you smile and laugh. But you cannot see a bakery, and you have no time to stop and look for it.


            Oh cinnamon buns

                        where on earth are you hiding

                                    Come and be eaten

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