Sometimes I find myself wondering
if while angry spirits were thundering
in homes, rice paddies, or mines,
palaces, temples, or shrines
that when Priests sought to appease such ghosts
with paper talismans on torii posts
had they ever suffered a papercut
and, if so, I wonder also what
they would have considered that omen:
Good? Bad? Did they say, “Gomen,”
and clean the blood from the kanji slip,
or was it good to let the blood just drip
as an offering for any lurking oni
or a widower’s wife wanting alimony?

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