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pinwheels on the mountainside

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her name is Minako.

her parents died the night they stole her away.
she remembers seeing them on the floor, that she screamed. she cried.
they did not listen, instead they drugged her into a stupor.

her name was Minako

they leave water thick with sediment.
she doesn't want to drink it.
but she's so thirsty.
when she does they come back, take her blood.
there's one kind man. he brings her a persimmon - it's sweet.

she had a name, once

there are so many of them. children. they don't give their names,
many don't remember having one. but sometimes she'll sneak out with four others
two boys, two girls and the five of them feel the wind in their hair,
crunch leaves underfoot
and dance under the moonlight.

she wanted a name, once

one of the boys is the first in their group to die - a bad reaction to an experiment,
left him trembling in the grip of a fever the oldest - they think - of the girls holds him close
even when he screams she hums to him and when he finally rests he does not wake.

names were important once

they make pinwheels - and sneak out at night to place them
the wind blows them in motion and they say prayers for the dead and dying,
there's been other losses but the four of them are still here.

what is a name?

she didn't know that two of her friends were twins
one is taken away and does not return,
the temple rang with the sounds of feasting
and the other twin looked and saw them coming back, told the two girls to hide.

what is a friend?

she knows her time is running out. they're about the last ones left
they are not pleased with her. and so she goes, to the one she calls sister.
and tells her, I will choose the manner of my death.
but my spirit will linger to protect you where I could not.
and her sister cries, but does not dissuade her though she will be left alone.

what is love?

she pulls the veil across her face,
leaves one last pinwheel on the mountainside
and then she jumps,


for a moment she is free,
for a moment she laughs,
for a moment

she flies.


there are 4 spirits that guard the halls of illusion protecting their sister-friend
and the wind in the mountains blows pinwheels
the sound of their turning could almost

be names...