I heard about you from my aunt and from the medium who could see your life through a glass of water. They called on him to find out more about you. People have seen you walking. Always in the middle of the night. Drunk men are so afraid of you that they sober up once they feel that prickly needle feeling on the back of their necks. Men are so afraid that you would make them sick so they hold onto their penises when they pass by the oldest pine tree with the red bark even when it is daytime. The time when your feet touched the ground, there was no Happy Homes Subdivision yet. World War II.
You were beautiful when you were alive. The sun smiled at you come dawn and the dew melted at your fingertips when flowers woke up in the morning. You were so beautiful that toadstools committed seppuku by jumping up in the air leaving the comfort of the ground like a Super Mario character protecting their princess to spread their spores to try to make love to not even you, but the air around you. You knew that. Everyone knew that. So did the Japanese imperial soldiers who kicked dust under their boots as they marched from village to village looking for women to comfort them. They marched with their Type 30 Bayonets and there was that one soldier who kept saying 三十年式銃剣 and the other soldiers repeated sanjūnen-shiki jūken as though you could understand them as they pulled you to the side with five other girls who weren’t even as beautiful as you. The tip of the blade poked at your shoulder. Prior to this day, you had never seen a bayonet before; a machete, yes, to cut the grass in the fields and to separate the coconut from its husk. But you were a city girl. What did you know about fields and grass?
You began to cry. Dios ko po, Dios ko po. These were words that held power over your fate, or so you thought. You prayed to God and promised you would never be as vain as you were, that you would not tease men with furtive looks nor would you look down on other women who were not as pretty. You even said you would give away your pride. These were words that held power over your fate, or so you thought. But it didn’t matter how much you prayed and promised. Suddenly you saw shadows show up like rain clouds in the eyes of these men. You could hear old women crying from wherever they stood and the men who tried to stand up to the soldiers in your defense and in the defense of their sisters, cousins, and wives were on the ground, their torsos lined with their guts from their newly-opened bellies. Forget cunt hurled at you. Your mind was swimming. Whale and fat, chalky. Where the soldiers took you with the other girls, in the dark room where rice was stored, you bit your tongue to stop screaming. The sunken penises grew erect like hardened rice paste and disappeared and reappeared. You tried to forget but you were already trapped in glass until the glass you were in broke and you were killed with a single lunge from a drunk soldier’s bayonet. It has been decades since you were left for dead.
You’re the white lady we see standing vigil under the tall pine tree where your body laid and even though your remains were never found, we’re all convinced this is the spot where you took your last breath. The medium said that you told him: I am white for a reason. Back then there were no skin creams to bleach your skin but that doesn’t come close to the bloodletting. Maggots festered and ate at what was left of you until what showed was bone-white frame of your skeleton. You are the white lady because the light that you emit is the void that you are, hollowed out. A white cold rage. You try to draw men into you. A white lady in search of answers in the middle of the night.