Friday, December 27, 2013

'The Flood'

I'm one of the final 22 published in the 13th anniversary issue of Pedestal Magazine! According to poetry editor John Amen, they received over a thousand submissions, which were whittled down to 45, and then eventually to 22 (Read his introduction here). Also, here is the online link to my poem; the rest are accessible through the sort-of-table of contents on the screen's left. 

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There was a flood, few days ago, and it watered our street with secrets. What I couldn't say, I drank from the water, and I bore the salt and dirt, the grime of the country in my mouth tasting bitter and strong, like stale coffee or a father's love, which he brought with him to his muddy grave, never one to share.

The water rose, and when it reached our house, it pounded the pavement, left as many holes as there were in my father's heart. Inside I could feel the rush - how strong the wind blew when it stood watch over his funeral. Outside, the current carried the remains of a tree, the odd leaf and the fallen fruit, the warmth of our walls and the gleam of lights, the cold swirl of water.

Rain, I said, and the clouds started weeping, and all the while they hid their hair under violet veils, like the women at father's funeral. That afternoon it rained and the wind betrayed us, it killed the candles with a single strike, the kind my father's hand made on my face when I was fourteen, and had stolen his keys and ran off with a girl. Rain, I said, as if she'd ever come back, a dozen tombstones away from my father's.

The flood destroyed the harvest, but not our farm; it swallowed the highway and the town hall, but left our house to stand. In the aftermath, everything was scattered on our yard, like pieces of a puzzle waiting to be picked - planks of wall, bricks of floor, the bulb of an incandescent light, and my father's myth, waiting to dry on damp earth.

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