The perfect suicide is surely
one that fails—the overdose
that under does it—the wrist slasher
who passes out before she can find an artery.
In Japan, where “it’s easy to become a nihilist,”
the trend is to die with strangers
in nondescript grey sedans
parked off the road in semi-wooded areas
not far from town, three in the front,
three in the back, in their 20s by the hundreds
each year. They meet on-line to discuss
their fate—no girlfriend, no boyfriend, no job,
money running out—surfing the Web
from childhood bedrooms in their parents’ homes,
looking to “die together with someone
garbage like me.” Moon was her screen name—
excited by the fantasy of an easy death.
“Moon-san, we die tomorrow, there’s
one seat open. Would you like to come?”
As though on a road trip to Hokkaido,
she claimed a spot up front. They bought coals
& a brazier at a home-center, pulled off the road,
taped shut the windows from the inside.
One of the too shy young men wanted to
compliment her on her perfume & her
lace dress. They shared out the sleeping powders
& slipped on ski goggles to guard their eyes
against smoke. As Moon eased into her last dream,
the head of the boy next to her slumped
onto her shoulder. Everything turned white,
rice paper bleached of calligraphy, fog blown in
over quartz crystal beach of featureless ivory.

First published: Confrontation: A Literary Journal. Martin Tucker, ed. (2008).


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