This dream treading widdershins whilst I endeavor turnwise is maddening, as though death is become me, so I run through shutters to shelter against the coming storm. I hadn’t shattered in aeons, and I had forgotten how delicious the pieces of myself felt. It’s a function of tempus fugiting, fitting all the pieces into their boxes of ‘expectation’ and ‘demand’ and ‘duty.’

Suddenly, nothing happens all at once. I frown at the rain streaming from the black clouds that follow me, stabbing at them with the wicked spines of a broken umbrella from within a tempestuous zoetrope. Watashi wa kuroi kage o nomimasu. Filling my belly, my fires consume them as the pictures flicker across the forest canopy, pictures made of the shards from my indifferent cherry-flavored detonation.

I reveal myself to hidden eyes, which open all at once without warning, killing my sanctum with glances of wine that drip from treegreen caskets. Under distant mountains, dragons rumble and plot to rob me of my treasured misery. I hide inside myself, sleeping comfortably within the darkness of my soul, with only invisible fire to warm time’s arrow enough to grasp scraps of memory, which I savor voraciously. Only then do I sleep the wakeful demon-filled horror of nirvana, the turbulent tranquility, the dark voices that whisper ‘aishiteru’.