Ignoring her words, I close my eyes as saliva drips from Hachikō’s grinning mouth. Falling through the dusty air along with the corpses of what were once beautiful green leaves, the drops of doggy spit land upon my head of hair like tears from clouds about to burst open in a storm—gutted by the knife-wielding hand of an angry god. Behind my eyelids, I see veins that resemble the skeletal remains of those very leaves. The patterns frighten me while leaving me in awe, for I’m reminded that I’m at once both a miracle of nature and nothing more than a spark in the dark of a universe infinitely unforgiving and cruel. Moving my hands over the scarred bark engraved with the names of so many anonymous lovers, I imagine I’m caressing Meeko’s hips, and the more I caress, the more I see her legs part like the tides of some vast, mystical sea. The waters of such a sea are as deep and as blue as the waters of her womb, and for a fleeting moment, the poetry of life is too much for me to bear, and I drop to my knees as if in the throes of a revelation.