by Reid MaruyamA

One morning I came upon love and death banished like dogs in the orchard. I went down to the old cemetery. The temple doors were locked. It was just before dawn and the stars were paling in the east, where a storm was gathering. The wind was giving up its death wish in my hair. I lay down in the long uncut grass. I dreamt I was asleep in a boat with jars full of coins. A falcon flew down and lit upon my wrist and its wingtips touched my breast and made me dream of wild horses. I had the long lost lover letter in one hand, I had the pocketknife in the other, and I stabbed myself in the chest with it. But the point broke off and blood ran down my shirt in thick, scarlet ribbons. I don’t know how long I lay there, thinking I was dying or close to dying, but I didn’t know anything. The air was cold.  Gigantic redwoods loomed over, a creek rushed down a hill nearby. I can still feel the barrel of the revolver rubbing up against my thigh like a cold finger. I’ve never been so scared in my life. I got up. I left. I despaired. And in the morning, the fireflies were all stillborn.