Snow Monkey Goes to Heaven, by Jess Mookherjee

Second prize in our Members’ Competition this year was awarded to Kent-based poet Jess Mookherjee for Snow Monkey Goes to Heaven.

Snow Monkey Goes to Heaven

On the bullet train to Kurukawa
Onsen, we take a bag, a map of the lines

on your hand, an axe, a shrunken head.
I follow you, frost- bitten, try to hold you,

Don’t touch, it hurts all over, you say
and the chill’s unwritten on my fingers,

I keep them moving and our plans on ice.
I try to read your face, it’s a tangled hell

in stone cold kanji. I lose you round
the corner of my eye. You chant it’s summer

and we’re just sitting, spending time
with each-other
. You mumble It’s OK,

we’ll change together, when we catch
our connection at Minami.
My skin’s off-peak,

out of season and you stop shivering.
I take an ice pick, break you open,

say don’t fall asleep, we’re going to make it.
My teeth glass-chatter as I kneel, watch you

burst, the cracks are lotus shaped.
Scents will take us as we melt in Kurukawa.

It’s too cold to talk any more and our journey
widens in a shatter of heated springs.

You turn blue as we stop at Minami,
and whisper This Heaven is such a simple thing.

1 Comment

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One response to “Snow Monkey Goes to Heaven, by Jess Mookherjee

  1. Anonymous

    Thank you Jess, I love this so much. The images and the descriptions are sensual and unusual.

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