You Cannot Stand Against Giant Baba
A man can stand with both feet touching
the ground until his legs no longer reach
that far, until the ground disappears.
Giant Baba stands six feet ten inches tall, taller
in Japan. It doesn’t matter how tall you are.
A man can hold a woman, can’t stand to lose
her to the heart’s wreckage. His body will fall
apart one day — a rock crab’s chassis stripped
clean by seagulls, a dandelion gone to seed.
Giant Baba stands over seven feet tall.
When he lifts you over his head, you will be
eight and a half feet above the ground.
A man can stand for anything when seen
from below — fatherhood, majesty, satisfaction
after conquest. In the end all men are seen
from above — patch of lawn, chunk of stone.
Giant Baba towers above your house,
dangles you by the ankle. Your life
looks so small from the sky.
A man and a woman can wrestle together
in the same bed. A man and a woman
and a marriage can brawl all night.
Giant Baba looms dark against the stars, back
blotting out the Milky Way, arms cradling you
and your family history. Listen to his mammoth
heartbeat, war drum, earthquake. Just listen.
A man can stand naked in a foreign country,
can search for meaning in strange tongues. He tries
to find himself in stories about famous battles,
about giants. It doesn’t matter where he stands.
Giant Baba’s body is made of girders
and mastodon bones. When you stand outside
to look at your house from new angles,
when you think of how your father died,
the giant will be there to catch you.about the author