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Ayano Hattori

Pink sky. We paint the starry night pink. Kisses with ruby chocolate. When we open our eyes the sky is pink, an everlasting space of pink.

Robert’s voice sounded like a small piece of dark chocolate or a shot of deep roasted espresso on the phone for the first time we spoke. His voice was almost in the nervousness of stepping into an unknown world making a phone call to someone whom he only met once briefly a year ago in London. I was in a camel gown when I picked up his call after bath. The night was deep indigo with the sharpness of chill, my feet barely touching the icy floor of the reflection of the lights. The lighting was low. His voice blended well in the space. His voice sounded the darkest that night amongst the brown colour voices my ears remember. Amber and caramel, my favourites. That warmth, that rhythm, that comfort.  

The floor is light grey Serpeggiante with its numerous parallel lines. The aridity of sakura tree branches emerges in the corner from the Japanese apricot vase. The arid branches would have been filled with blossoms colouring the city pink. In two weeks sakura will start to colour it pink again. The winter has been long. The day view from the window has always been in an arid monochrome gradation of light brown to light grey. Life is only a white bird landing on the uncultivated rice field. Spring before spring. A moment before reincarnation. The night is silent in deep indigo. The semi-translucence of indigo, the moist of frost and the clearness of the air, takes me into sleep.

I’m in mocha of a blanket and the layers of chestnut duvets. Warm, melting me like a caramel into the sweetest dream, the sweetest memory of security, in which I could melt. It was warm, milky and sweet; just the right amount to share with two.

We travel and we paint another sky pink. We are foolish. We are dirty. We can’t live without this painkiller. We forget any pains life presents under the pink sky. I miss you. You miss me. We paint another sky pink.

Hands full of ruby chocolate melts. Loosing its shape. My hands. Your hands. Ruby chocolate melts into pink iron metal burning us.

Robert’s voice no longer sounded like a piece of dark chocolate nor a cup of deep roasted espresso as he stepped into the unknown world to discover. His voice was colourful at each discovery, surprise, and sympathy. His laughter broke a moment of silence as if a sudden appearance of hills, sometimes of a lake, another time of owls. Behind those trees covering, I often couldn’t imagine what I was going to find next. Finding those sceneries sometimes from a windscreen, sometimes from stroll, I was in different rhythms yet always under the sunlight filtering through those trees.

Chocolate merges into the warmth of espresso and into my mouth. The bitter-sweetness of dark chocolate unfreezes in the full velvet of espresso converged into one deep dark brown. The deep dark brown lingers and fades as the note of misty deep forest green, aged rosewood scarlet, and sun-dried ripped prune violet. His voice at the savage of night chill did not melt like that.

In the twilight, the sky is dyed to orange blending into indigo. On the horizon, it is dyed to pink. In the high, it shines and the light falls. The body remembers the pain of passing. We don’t just live in the moment but towards the moments we are going to lose. The hands cannot grasp, letting them slip away mercilessly between the fingers. The wind chilled my ears. I decided to head back home before I’m dyed to indigo. 

Robert seems like someone who sleeps in a melancholic melody of linen, the reminiscence of warmth, scent, and tenderness of his bedwear, although there are people who prefer fresh linen. That night I was in sand and clay. The warm caramel I always melted in did not change my blanket and duvet into mocha and chestnuts nor hot chocolate and almond. I was in sand and clay. I was in arid hills and rocks. I wished the night of indigo blue would dye my bed into deep blue, soaking deep, dripping, leaking, flooding.

One morning I woke up to the scent of hyacinth­­, the watery lily-like top note and the banana-like rich aromatic end note. The warmth of the fully ripe banana emerged from the icy Serpeggiante floor as if layering a carpet for me to walk over. The fresh lily scent gently touched the surface of my pillow telling me that it is morning. Streaming in from the window behind me, the slice of sunlight confirmed that it was. With the banana-rich aroma inviting me to leave from bed, I felt the heaviness in my pillow, as if my sleepiness was a stone in a garden. I rejected the invitation just like a stone.

The grey cloudy sky was about to break the silent tension. On the verge of wailing, from the slice of the sunlight between the thick clouds, there was a fall of a few drops, onto my skin, hair, and into my ears. The drops broke into a thousand flakes of crystal glass, piercing. The garden was a field of glass with a thousand edges, and I was only waking up into that world.

There wasn’t a carpet to protect my feet. There wasn’t sweetness of aroma. There wasn’t an invitation. And, there was no longer comfort of night to go back to. The texture of morning unfolded under the snivel of the grey sky. Wrapped up in the blanket, I waited for the sky to clear up.

The banana-like note of hyacinth reminded me again that it is morning and is time for breakfast. My pierced body did not want anything but to emerge from the scent, fully breathing it in, my nose-full of a deep breath of hyacinth, to heal the pierced boundaries, and to find a place in the world. Hyacinth did not require much of me. It was just silent, but full on the boundaries staying with me. The floral breath was to help me breathe, a quiet accompany in the word. The petals touched my nose, a slightly cold, curled surface against my skin.

The intricate stress and metre of the thunder was muffled in the thick cloud. The drops of rain fell like grapes fully ripened under the sun. My body was dehydrated, drained, pierced. The sky did not tell me who the complex governor was. It kept sending me the intricate poem I could not decipher. Under the cloud, I decided to make coffee. The horizontal expansion of calming bitterness would break the vertical, divine downfall. It would mute the voluble tongue. The air was uneven, breaking my thin skin, peeled, and released.

My espresso machine played the familiar rhythm from the kitchen, loud enough to quell thunder. The scent busted into the air like a sparkle of light. It expanded horizontally, opening a path for me to walk over. It was just silent, but full on the horizon, listening to me. I heard nothing from the sky. The warmth on the tongue drew the continuity from the dream of last night. The deep brown colour was condensed from the light brown bedding of mine. The floral aroma took me to a path that led to a garden. The mild bitterness was fresh soil that kept moisture under the moderate spring sunlight.

I took a seat to listen to one of the thousand poems that the petals sent to me. I decided to spend the second half of my morning there.

The garden had now returned to the carpet upon which I could walk with my bare feet covered by soft delicate petals. The crystal glass was evaporating like the dew of night on these petals. The petals knew stories of night I did not know. Keeping it their secret, they let the dew evaporate.

The air was light. The petals swung in a weightless rhythm. The sky was high and azure looking down upon the immense details of the earthy ground. The lemony tone in the morning bouquet was the strawberry freshness of shade.

The soft coverage of midnight mist had faded completely on the horizon, together with the volatile dawn of the morning.

We paint the sky pink, the nameless hours of life pink.

On one sunny day, which sliced through those cloudy days, I drove to the White Rock alongside the coastline. Despite those days with a sky covered by smoke grey blankets, on that glistening morning I grabbed coffee for my car as if a beach towel to my bag. Between villages and inhabitants, the streams of traffic were in motion, unlike the surrounding landscape of farmland. Across the land lain fallow, lofty mountains were still covered by sheer snow as if another white rock. Lacking details in their distance, those mountains looked flat, a space in the sky painted pure white. The beach was in the other direction. The space painted utterly white became smaller and smaller in the passing moments. It eventually escaped from the view framed by the car window.

The sunlight shone over my hands on the wheel. The texture of the leather wheel blended well into my hands. In the texture of the contact and weight, my mind started traveling into memories.

Nothing was quite alike Inside the leather there was the structure of metal unlike bones under skin, dissimilar to the bodies of anyone I knew. The weight ran over the back of my hands when the wheel returned to the centre. The middle finger caught the wheel, not letting it slip away, as if telling a child on the ride-on toy “No”.

Dryness on my skin brought my consciousness back to the road. The view from that one-lane rural way remained more or less the same. My hands were to be suntanned with the sensation of the dryness, expanding as if it were the surrounding arid landscape of the fallow farmland. The beach was not too far anymore.

Cherry blossom had been in bloom, falling over the road, being waved up towards the sky for the last dance and tinting the wind pink. The pink current of the petals, seen as passing moments from the car window, was the closest to the eternality, the redolence of the past.


Memories of summer roads, emanating from the sunlight of spring, streamed through the windscreen. The glow of summer seemed to be surviving in the dazzle and sparkle presented in front of me. Spring was in between winter and summer, a palpable moment of passing, a location of memory. Distant summer was vividly scented with the soil that absorbed rain and saturated with dews of mist, sweat, and tears. Those summer roads, travelled and revisited in the myriad of recollections, took me to the glistening water of the sea.

Textures returned to my hands for a moment, but fragilely dissolved into the black leather and the steel inside. Nothing remained there, nor on the road seen through the rear window. The sound of the falling petals was drowned out by the swirling of wind crushed against the steel of the car.

We painted the sky pink from the ridge of the mountains standing on tiptoe. The paint dribbled from the sky gleaming white against us. It dripped down like rain on the mountains and to our feet, laying as if the fallen petals of cherry blossoms.

We painted the sky pink with our bare feet on the highest point on the earth. The gale splashed the paint and the dews of the paint fell like shooting starts. We saw the tail end of shooting stars when dawn was breaking.

Another day. From the shade of magenta, the sunlight shone honey yellow as the clouds absorbed the full glare of the sun. We painted the details of the nameless hours of day.

In the pale shimmer of lavender pink, birds sang a song of pea green and lily white. In a whisper of viridian and aquamarine, they flew away from the foliage. It was a notice of rain. We painted the moments when we were fully present in the world, and the unlived moments of the summer.

We painted the sky pink standing on tiptoe. Under the sky we dappled the mountain ridge pink beneath our feet.

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