Anaximander's Count-down

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto and the poem. They belong to their respective owners; the poem is by Milan Dekleva, Slovenian literator and poet.

Warnings: Character death, death themes

Five senses for a single heart.

His eyes were wet with tears, and his throat hurt at the mere scrape of thought at what he would do in the next half an hour.

His ears were listening to the shrieks of pain and fear of the people, to the fearsome roars of that nine-tailed beast, the cacophony of terror and despair, so unlike the quiet morning he had witnessed this day.

He felt the paper keenly under his fingertips, the rough, yet smooth texture, he palmed his three-pronged kunai slowly, feeling helpless that his greatest technique was for once just as useless as yesterday's wind.

His nose was scenting the old, musty scents of ancient scrolls – the scent that usually soothed him, was now bitter in his nose, reminding him that the time was running out, that he had to do something….

The taste in his mouth was … what taste? The mixture of a stale ramen, and his wife's kiss…. Kushina…. He vividly remembered her red hair and her wide, brilliant smile – and he licked his parched lips, suddenly wishing for water, or sake, or anything, just to feel something else in his mouth, something that wouldn't have taste after the ashes…

And his heart was heavy and light and he felt as if he could see into the space in the tiny drop of the ink that was dripping slowly, like some bizarre representation of human blood.

So strange… here he was, before his end, and he never felt so alive… and yet so dead.

Four directions of the sky for a single earth.

He looked around fleetingly, reminding himself as to mark the directions of the sky, and idly wondering if that had any sense, as the wind was ruffling his hair shortly, as if giving him one last season of its' freedom to taste.

Freedom…

And yet, he drew the spiral on the cold stone, uniting the Sky and Earth in simple, precise strokes, an artist, working on his last, life-long creation, and felt a profound sadness and disgust that he should resort to such measures.

He wondered, if he would be ever forgiven for the sin he intended to commit, his pride and his honor damning his most precious persons.

He wondered, if it was worth it, to become Hokage, just to come to that last, grisly stand…. this night, dark, bloody, and lit with fire and screams of fear and torment.

He cherished the ground under his feet, for the last time, briefly, before he turned to his Sensei.

Three dimensions for a single space.

He checked the design once again, and it was perfect, so painfully perfect it would make his eyes water – he managed to do something no one could – he created three – dimensional seal in two – dimensional design, a masterpiece so terrible and yet so grand –

Shame, he could not show and teach it to his child.

Two creatures for a single child.

And here he was. Their little one. A boy, with his sun-kissed hair, and blue eyes, so perfect he almost forgot to breath.

How could he and Kushina create such a perfect wonder?

The little one was a miracle. Surely, he was the most perfect baby ever born on this Kami's green Earth…he chuckled feebly. And he had Kushina's lungs, too.

He would be a handful…

Expertly, he drew the design on their son's tummy, smiling a little as the child giggled at the tickling, wet touches.

He almost wished he could be here for eternity that the time would stop, just to watch his little one's smiling face…

But he didn't have time.

/Kushina, forgive me…/

A single life for a single death.

"Kuchiyose – Death Reaper Seal!"

A flash and the mighty fox was no more.

Those seconds before he activated the seal, these were the most terrible in his life.

Would it work?

Would they be safe?

Would HE be safe?

One life…. And one death…

And the world changed.

The baby was crying, as if knowing that he would be alone now…

No word for the infinity which links…

"Naruto." He breathed out. "His name is Naruto."

And the darkness fell over his eyes.

He was so tired….

The heart, the earth, space, the child, and death.

… And Namikaze Minato, Konoha no Kiiroi Senkou, Yondaime Hokage, died,

crystal tears sliding down his cooling face.

Namikaze Minato, Naruto's father, was dead.

The cries of lone child echoed into the night, wafting away on the breeze, into darkness and fire.

/OWARI/

PS: Here's the entire poem… if you want more, type into Google Slovenian Literator and go search for Milan Dekleva

Anaximander's Countdown

Five senses for a single heart.

Four directions of the sky for a single earth.

Three dimensions for a single space.

Two creatures for a single child.

A single life for a single death.

No word for the infinity which links

the heart, the earth, space, the child, and death.