no nine-tailed fox, not now. only washi dissolving in ink and tears and rain. your lips are gone and the light that rang in your eyes like the nine thousand names of god has dashed against the rocks and shattered into nine times nine thousand indifferent fireflies.
that name was a silver bullet on a full-moon night, piercing cold, meant to wound until I folded out of your way like the paper crane, I whispered, I warned you, that simple fold that may be my true form. I cannot bar you from harm when I have no more stars to light my way. I used to know where I was going from here.
you are not who you were. I cannot be who I am. I will remember who I was, someday, and I will braid my hair into a coat. a chain. a noose, a sail. I will no longer look into the night sky, hoping for a way home. I have learned the futility of loss, the frailty to mourn, but I never regret. just give me time to stitch this up and regain my balance, to stop bleeding out on someone else's floor.