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Shinto

When reverses undo us,
for one second we are saved
by the least chance
attention or memory:
a fruit taste, the taste of water,
the face a dream returns,
November's first jasmine,
the compass's infinite longing,
a book we thought lost,
a hexameter's pulse,
the brief key that opens a house,
the smell of libraries and sandalwood,
an old streetname,
a map's colors,
an etymology unforeseen,
the sleekness of a filed nail,
the date we were looking for,
twelve dark tollings of the bell,
a brusque physical pain.

Eight million Shinto divinities
travel through the world, secretly.
These modest numen touch us,
touch and depart.