Shuntaro Tanikawa

1931 / Tokyo City, Japan

Two Billion Light-Years of Solitude

Human beings on this small orb
sleep, waken and work, and sometimes
wish for friends on Mars.

I've no notion
what Martians do on their small orb
(neririing or kiruruing or hararaing)
But sometimes they like to have friends on Earth.
No doubt about that.

Universal gravitation is the power of solitudes
pulling each other.

Because the universe is distorted,
we all seek for one another.

Because the universe goes on expanding,
we are all uneasy.

With the chill of two billion light-years of solitude,
I suddenly sneezed.

(Translated by William I. Elliott and Kazao Kawamura)
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