Poetry

Oyabun

There’s an old saying in the night markets of Tokyo

“A frog in a well does not know the great sea”

I never really understood what it meant

Until I found myself wandering the backstreets of Kabukichō

Looking for a reason not to go home

There’s something otherworldly about the place

A neon heaven calling to wayward souls

Like moths to a flame

On the way to a hostess bar

I cut through an alleyway

To see a parliament of black-suited men

Looming over a prone figure

The poor bastard had been beaten to a pulp

But he wasn’t who I was focusing on

One man stood apart from the group

He was the shortest among them

Yet somehow stood the tallest

Eyes the colour and hardness of flint

Stared in my direction

I’ve seen all kinds of stares in my life

Good, bad, happy, sad,

This man had none of them

His was a fathomless look

The kind you might expect from God

I have no idea how long I was standing there

Dumbstruck and exposed

But all it took was a simple nod from the man

A free pass to forget what I’d witnessed

And the spell was broken

The frog met the sea that night

Turns out wells are pretty damn comfortable

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