“Half the stories are about people in cities or in urban centers of the West who are only kind of glancingly aware of the anger and the occupation that’s going on around them.”
After my mother died, I looked at a photo where she had moved into assisted living from the ER. Her oxygen tube in her nose, two small children standing on each side. Her hands around their hands pulled tightly to her chest, the chorus of knuckles still housed, white like stones, soon to be freed, soon to be splashing like horses.
You trash your room. You twist the arms of your roommate’s glasses and shred her grandchildren’s drawings. You refuse to be medicated, screaming that you are being poisoned. Security is called, and you are restrained in a special chair next to the nurses’ station like a naughty student who must sit next to the teacher.
Mom gave birth to me on the vernal equinox, just as the world begins to bloom, so it was no surprise that I inherited her love for the outdoors. We grew together as twin Persephones, bursting with life at the first sign of crocuses, and shrinking into sullen hibernation as the days darkened into winter.
Among the writers we’ve assembled here you’ll find redemptive rhetorics of weather, decipherable stars, children who don’t speak for years, parents who can speak no longer, people calling people animals, signs of disappearance, a word that’s given, then is folded like a map to secret places, some “small speakings,” and several foreign languages.