Kaori looks at me with abject innocence and something wistful I can’t pin down. I wish I knew how to talk to you, I tell her. I wish I could share something of myself with you and you with me. ‘Wakarimasen,’ she says, but I don’t understand. We listen to the cicadas chirrup for a while and I can’t help laughing at their joke. She smiles and pats my hand, a gestural lament that carries something I still can’t grasp. I want to speak, but Kaori presses a finger to my lips and opens her palm beneath the horizon.

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