you are the air that i am kissing

Reek the cadaver was found in Jukai, also known as the sea of trees, the suicide forest at the base of Mount Fuji. Reek wasn’t the name she was born with. Once, she had gone by Onigiri, but these days she was called Reek. This was for two reasons: first, she smelled. Second, she had lost most of her distinguishing features to time and insects and neglect–and her license had been carried off by a curious bird.

She didn’t do much. Slept a lot, though it was hard to say how, exactly, she did so what with her eyes open and a family of baby mice nesting where her eyeballs had once been. Perhaps the fox that had carried them off might be able to say, but certainly not Reek.

She had beautiful amber-threaded black hair that caught and snarled with the tree roots in which she lay. Her hair was so long she’d wrapped it three times around her neck, climbed the tree above the place her skeleton sprawled now, tied the mane her lover had once said was the soft and thin wet tissue of black seaweed to a branch and plunged.


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