Tanka: A Woman’s Lingering Sigh

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genie nakano

By GENIE NAKANO

I love the music
before I was ever born
sentimental,
with a big band memory
why change me now

hear that bass
plays so deep and low
her fingers slide
across all keys
Alice Coltrane, I want more

Eartha Kitt
taught me to work rhythm
walk across a stage
her costume rests with mine
friend, teacher, guiding star

last night’s dream
in moss green velvet
gardenia in my hair
breathing pixelated colors
I dance a millimeter above ground

I know somewhere
sweetness fills the air
like the flowers you gave
when our love was new
I can’t believe it’s over

cigarette ashes
fall on the floor, we don’t care
or think of being gone
isn’t that the way…
a sigh lingers on and on

Genie Nakano was born in East Los Angeles, California. She experiments with movement, dance and music when performing at open mics and spoken word events.  She is widely published in journals, and her recent haibun, tanka/tales book Enter the Stream is available on Amazon. About this poem, she says, “Eartha Kitt was my dance teacher—my inspiration.” Genie can be reached by email.

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