Irezumi – Sarah Kohrs

Shadow spills along the sidewalk
and seems to silence even foot-

falls. Its thin strands weave across
the sun’s glow, spread smooth like skin,

and waver with a subdued wind.
I want to grasp the silken netting

and pull up black-and-gray
koi, whose roving tails flit water

beads before the clouds open.
My fingers yearn to pluck

blushing lilies, their milky
latex slipping pondward. Perhaps

I’ll entice the dazzling qilin to
pursue lodging in my garden,

so that, when all the world’s a
shadow, I can sit cozy by my

window with the chimes
whispering hope in my ear

even with the shutters battened,


Sarah E N Kohrs creates written and visual art that seeks a unique perspective on how surroundings kindle hope in even a disparaged heart. Find her photography in Virginia Literary Journal, Blueline Literary Magazine, Mt Hope, and Shenandoah Valley Living; her poetry in Poetry from the Valley of Virginia, From the Depths, and Crosswinds Poetry Journal. Sarah is a homeschooling mother, managing editor for The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, director of The Corhaven Graveyard, and savors many other altruistic roles. She holds a B.A. in Classical Languages and Archaeology from The College of Wooster, as well as a Virginia state teaching license endorsed in Latin and Visual Arts. Find her online at

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