Image by Elyse Butler


It takes a breakup to leave a city,
especially one you hate, though on an island

this means only going to the next town
where your same life awaits you. I breathed in,

exhaled and turned the key, when, between
the road ahead and me interposed a gecko

on my windshield, crawling across the screen
of glass on its pale belly. He walked

an invisible arc of sky above
a green fringe of bottle palms, then stepped

into the blue possibility of skies
emptied of meaning, and I dreamed I was

a continental rider on the open road,
leaving the city grown too small for two,

tall buildings under white sunlight falling
in the rearview, like the sweet ruins of memory.

Derek N. Otsuji


Derek N. Otsuji teaches English at Honolulu Community College and is a recipient of a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the 2019 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. You can find his work in The Threepenny Review, Rattle, Sycamore Review, and Pleiades.