Volume 25, Number 4

Bring Me the Head of Yukio Mishima

It was the front line of the spirit
Like the utterances of a man in delirium
The great sunlike principle
Total freedom
Vanished completely
Everything had been a hallucination
Staring fixedly at the dark ceiling
Beyond his understanding
Clarity like the clarity of a stream fed from melting snows
Saliva dribbled from his mouth
In invisible brushstrokes
Like a thousand bells which jangled simultaneously
These were times of national emergency
The dark boards of the ceiling in the dimness beyond the range of the standard lamp
A truly radiant death face
His eyes lingered
There was no room in his mind

All lines from Patriotism by Yukio Mishima. (New York: New Directions, 1995)

—Wade German