by Don Narkevic
Only sound remains: weeping, flutes, footsteps, the rustle of Aba’s cloak, his footsteps storming out the front door, the creak of the hinge the last I hear the rattle of my breaths as my ribs rise and fall while I die. Ima groans as though enduring childbirth when the midwife delivers news of the infant’s death. Then the soundlessness of me, a twelve-year-old daughter, heart arrested, a failed star freefalling through the terror of the night sky until I am caught in the calloused palm of a fisherman, maybe a carpenter, fingers combing through my hair, the smell of dust and sweat of someone journeyed, the whiff and warmth of breath against my ear as speech conceives: “Talitha cumi!” Inside me, something revives, like pomegranate trees in bloom, and my eyes, flickering flames of pottery lamps, reveal the radiance of a stranger’s face, his eyes closed as though blessing the Lord. Obedient to his command, I rise from the mat. As Ima and Aba hug me, the weary man insists on food, maybe bread, figs, smoked fish, for I am not a ghost, my being still dependent on that which sustains.
Don Narkevic: Buckhannon, WV. MFA National University. Current work appears in Literary Yard, Ariel Chart, and The Lake. In Spring 2022, Main Street Rag will publish a novella of poetry entitled, After the Lynching.