Yamazaki told a regular with eyes dead as checklists that she dreamed of zebras at night. He
said the truth was more like Tokyo was made of glass. To put herself through art school, she tied
men up until they could no longer wiggle out of their rope-burn repressed rage and shame. Her
stilettos were imported from some island of exiled writers, too dangerous for the mainland. An
old boyfriend once told her that her face was too askew, too lopsided, to invoke pure love from
men in starched shirts. She sent money to a needy sister in Okinawa, living at the tip of a small
mountain, body-gliding on the surface of hard snow. Her body was a moon too full of itself,
leaking light. Yamazaki fell in love with a small-time gangster who asked her to cut him a little
each day. She said blood was too precious, but the truth was that she hated scrubbing the floor
with ammonia after he left. Over time, he grew as skinny as she and she began to mix bleach
with ammonia. In this way, they became extinct. Or a colorless truth. Her sister, buried under the
loss, took up painting abstracts in a dim light.
Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey. He has been published in Elimae, Smokelong Quarterly, This Zine Will Change Your Life, Blaze Vox, Matchbook, and elsewhere. He loves 50s Sci-Fi movies, manga comics, and pre-punk garage bands of the 60s.