Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Kiji Kutani

Elephant

I dreamed about an elephant.

With its long, wrinkled trunk
covered with short, needle-like hairs
wrapped round my neck in lieu of a muffler,
I went into a darkened used bookstore
with a girl I’d happened to meet.
The young owner
energetically wiped the lenses of his glasses
as he greeted politely
only the aged elephant
following behind us.

A while after waking up
I had completely forgotten the girl’s face
and the path to the used bookstore,
but the smell of the elephant’s sigh,
so like a lazy river,
remained as vivid as a promise just made.

Sitting alone in the cold, early-morning classroom
drinking canned tea,
I felt an elephant-shaped warmth
slowly fill my stomach.

You never know.
Maybe the sky out that window will slowly end this day
without ever losing the indistinct whiteness of this hour.
It could happen,
I thought
with faint hope.

You never know.

ELEPHANT

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Elephant

I dreamed about an elephant.

With its long, wrinkled trunk
covered with short, needle-like hairs
wrapped round my neck in lieu of a muffler,
I went into a darkened used bookstore
with a girl I’d happened to meet.
The young owner
energetically wiped the lenses of his glasses
as he greeted politely
only the aged elephant
following behind us.

A while after waking up
I had completely forgotten the girl’s face
and the path to the used bookstore,
but the smell of the elephant’s sigh,
so like a lazy river,
remained as vivid as a promise just made.

Sitting alone in the cold, early-morning classroom
drinking canned tea,
I felt an elephant-shaped warmth
slowly fill my stomach.

You never know.
Maybe the sky out that window will slowly end this day
without ever losing the indistinct whiteness of this hour.
It could happen,
I thought
with faint hope.

You never know.

Elephant

I dreamed about an elephant.

With its long, wrinkled trunk
covered with short, needle-like hairs
wrapped round my neck in lieu of a muffler,
I went into a darkened used bookstore
with a girl I’d happened to meet.
The young owner
energetically wiped the lenses of his glasses
as he greeted politely
only the aged elephant
following behind us.

A while after waking up
I had completely forgotten the girl’s face
and the path to the used bookstore,
but the smell of the elephant’s sigh,
so like a lazy river,
remained as vivid as a promise just made.

Sitting alone in the cold, early-morning classroom
drinking canned tea,
I felt an elephant-shaped warmth
slowly fill my stomach.

You never know.
Maybe the sky out that window will slowly end this day
without ever losing the indistinct whiteness of this hour.
It could happen,
I thought
with faint hope.

You never know.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère