No and Yes

On my way to the train station, I drag an olive green duffel bag through the red light district of Kabukicho. I haven’t slept in nearly three days, and the street scene moves past me at a speed both fast and slow. Today, memories of that morning come to me in chunks. The light of the incoming dawn. Pooling in the gutters, urine like goldenrod. Rainbow-colored dunes of garbage. Departing club-goers in lustrous, jewel-toned wigs. Sensory experience frothing and glittering, like sea foam lapping at the heart, as I watched the sun crest, like a crown of yellow diamonds, over the mountains.

On my way to school, an unexpected rain alights upon my bare shoulders, and my emotions swell to colossal size. A blue and ruby rush of clouds start their prowl, and in their presence the whole of the landscape takes in a shuddering breath. A thing wild, and secretive, this rain. It falls like snow, and clings to my clothes in delicate individual droplets. Its touch is not a true embrace, but its airy precursor, and thick with the anticipation of a sensual downpour. In this weather, my body too has become an artifact of passion. I imagine myself as a sword hidden in a chest. A rusted blade. A scabbard of silver thread. Imagine the stillness of the temple where I lay, shrouded in vines with velvet-like blooms.

On my way to the door to answer the sudden ringing of the bell, time stills as I button my blouse, make myself presentable, and then buckles hard under the pressure of a rapidly forking forever. My minds travels to the people I adore, across dark cliffs and cherry red deserts, to the thyme and lavender bushes of a childhood street. My mother lighting a candle. Alexander, asleep. Strawberry by the ocean, the soles of his feet skimming the water. Every bit of real love I know will meet its end, someday. It takes everything in me to hold that pain against me, like an infant animal with its rosy eyes half-closed, and then set it gently aside. Imagine waiting all spring in fear for a message from faraway, only to forget it, and then find it unexpectedly on your doorstep, unassuming but unmistakable, and cradled by moonlight.

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