Of course I remember.
The sky was black as coal and fires raged everywhere, ember lights tearing through the homes like napkins toppling on top of each other.
I understand, you would like to disbelieve that such an event happened here where the pristine sunset now glows, but believe me. You wouldn’t know the first thing about pristine, if you can’t feel the ghosts, then just stay oblivious.
Looking out over the calm waters, the fishermen pass by nowadays, and people go on like nothing happened, most of them. Some moved away, others live in regret, others come in and “restore” everything, really they dishonor the dead, and make a mockery of suffering.
Sure, the sky burns red like a temple candle and now, and lovers hold hands and play in the memorial fountain. Young teenagers drop ecstasy and follow the flow of gently cascading waves, surfing transcendental awareness and losing themselves in the neon of the big city.
Do you remember the empty crosswalk? The one with that simple song that seemed to defy gravity? Well, it’s been stripped away, like all our grievance and scar tissue, to make way for progress. A parking lot sits there now, where the houses used to be. We dwell among ghosts in the age of progress, and I’ll tell you something else, you would think that someone else besides me would remember.
Alone I stand, and hold a candle where that intersection used to be, where the baker used to sell his buns on the corner in that little cart. I still hear the crosswalk music occasionally, standing out there, in the midst of progress, people passing through each other like morning mist, ghosts in the midst of their city.
As you look out, the sunsets being a hue more crimson are the only reminder of boiling blood, screams and chills, agony and consumption. Hell’s fires unleashed on the innocent, of course i remember.
I still smell gasoline and rage on his breath, ignition on his clothes, as he looked at me with those inhuman eyes filled with malice, flicking his lighter, his body lit up brighter than the any star in the sky.
A running star made his home in the graves of the innocent, shedding blood and peeling flesh. He called me princess that morning, and threw me out of his way that night. He was a different man, tossing me aside, staining me with flammable fluids, i scraped my knees, my dress filthy in a puddle of kerosene and mud.
“The worst orchestrated act of terror ever committed by a Japanese civilian, over 100 confirmed dead, and several other injured” that monotone voice in the news still repeats, year after year, heartless.
My little doll he had made me, is now lost forever, and the burning man, his name was Kobayashi Ichigo. That night there was a single ember light that began it all. He was brilliant outshining the stars and overpowering the passing voices, he was a living holocaust, a menace outshining the stars, spreading his ember touch, he was fire incarnate, he was my father.