by Iori Kusano

She was my lover.

Funny how we don't talk about that,
funny how we forget that, isn't it?

We remember Susanoo's rage.
We talk of his litany of offenses,
how he broke down my sluice gates,
how he defiled my halls,
how he flayed my horse backwards,
outrageous acts all —
but the maiden who fell from the loom
was my lover.

He was jealous, you know.
Didn't you ever wonder what made him so angry?
Funny how we don’t talk about that,
funny how we forget that, isn't it?
He did his best to hide her from history,
to bury her under the rubble of his rage.
Her name, never written in books,
is whispered only in the mountains
where lonely deer bell.

When I hid myself in the cave it was not from fear.
I wanted to be alone with my grief,
wanted to let it swell until it swallowed my light. 

Her name was Suzuka.

Iori Kusano flies between Seattle and Tokyo with books for pillows. When she's not writing speculative fiction and poetry, she studies classical Japanese literature. Her favorite fruit is the lychee. Find her on Twitter @IoriKusano.

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