The flowers drip petals into my hair and onto my face. Soft, blushing pink. They remind me of you.
Of the first day we met, the cold brushing rose across your cheeks, your nose.
Snow all around us, painting the village with clean white.
You did not say anything, but you picked up the basket I had dropped and smiled. Strange now to think of how I felt at your first smile. Like shattering. Like standing on the beach and holding your breath in that eternal moment between when the waves crest…and when they crash down on the sand and rush up around your toes.
Some part of me always felt that way when you smiled. Even after it became more familiar to me than my own face.
We met in winter, but it was spring where we fell in love. With the wind rippling the grass and the flowers exploding in little bursts of color. You walked with me over the hills, along the cliffs, under the trees. We stood beneath a rain of cherry blossom petals, and you kissed me and I became a burst of color. I melted into the wind and into you.
When I laid down in the shade, I brought you down with me. I drew you inside me. We did not get up again for hours and hours.
The summer was warm and lazy and long in your arms. Sunshine bright on the water. Your hands on my skin. Your breath on my neck. Dappled shadows across your face. I can still feel summer inside me. I never wanted it to end. I’m holding onto it even now.
Even now, anata…
The snows came again. They piled deep around us for months, and I stayed with you. I kissed your nose, pink with cold, and you laughed.
I should have stayed there in you laughter.
But I left. For something… It seemed so important then, but I cannot remember why now.
I cannot remember anything but you.
My hand is red when I raise it to my face — red against the rain of petals all around me. I think there used to be pain — along the back of my head, deep in my stomach where the branch pierced me at the end of my fall — but there is no pain now. I was cold once, too, from the snow, but I do not feel the cold now.
I wish you were here now. To be shattered by your smile one more time. To burst into color from your kiss.
I close my eyes and smell cherry blossoms.
I hold my breath and wait for the crash of the waves.