Translated by Toshiya Kamei
A tiny girl dozes by the foot of the blooming cherry tree where my mother hanged herself. I pick her up gently. “Sakura, you know about the hua-po?” Mother asked when I was a little girl. “The ancient Chinese believed that a spirit dwelled in a tree where three people hanged themselves.” The tiny girl remains asleep, curled up in my palm. I gaze down at her and gasp. She has my mother’s face. Mother’s sweet, sad smile floods back into my mind. I smile and swallow her in one gulp. Now we will never be apart again.
Born in 2001, Yukari Kousaka is a Japanese poet, fiction writer, and essayist living in Osaka. Her poetry has appeared in Cocoa Republic.
Toshiya Kamei holds an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Arkansas. His translations have appeared in such venues as Clarkesworld, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Strange Horizons.