XII

Prodigiously, I have spent myself,
(how else should I have?)
the disgrace of all the pleasure quarters
of Naniwa and Edo.
No reputable house ever turned me down,
I threw coins to the blossoms of Shinbara,
until they reeled in blue ecstasies.
Know this, that courtesans stitched their names
like love into my belt,
and I wore them all like a bandolier.
How many gods have I sated?
Now, disgusted angels
point me to the pit of night,
and I scrape on hands and knees
amidst the shavings of my spent lives,
seeking rebirth,
a never ending circle of dark blooming.
Now kiss me my love,
the last of my copper has bought me this.
Tomorrow we’ll leap into the Sumida River.
But you and I both know
there’s no escaping the pleasures of this burning world.

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