Perfect Attendance

Ryo Yamaguchi

I’ve made so many wishes I believe
I have forgotten
most of the facts of the world.
If you were to look at my face you would see
I have mastered but a single, friendly expression
over which all the clouds pass.
I think this entire time
I have been growing, but who is to say,
and who exactly is to listen?
Here is a list of all the things I am terrified of.
I’d do such good things with the money.

RYO YAMAGUCHI’s poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming from American Letters & Commentary, Barrow Street, The Journal, and Drunken Boat, among others. He works and lives in Chicago. Please visit him at