When the dying time came, like a gavel struck demanding pallor and ash, you receded from a house to a room to a box, destined for a closet sharing flat caramel carpet with these feet. You are boxed and taped and I am full—possessing your images, your proof’s— of jury seats, divorce decrees, of love letters resealed by time, of certificates of birth and fevered secrets poked in drawers—of Jew and Black etudes— clamoring, when all I crave is erudition; your counsel of skirt hems and bad men, of how many bags form a lazy man’s load, up these stairs, up my steps and not your own. Where do you end/ I start, orphaned ridiculously old, mourning this closeted quay at which I sometimes cower; confused sole cantor seeking words, rustling sermons that append pogroms, lunch counters, tar paper shacks and vile beginnings, but not too much—not to unceasing oppression, a sole source in readiness—for here there is no silo to grease lest rats steal our grits, nor chilblains to treat, nor blood-soaked rags to hang on a line, there is only me.
Heidi Richardson is originally from San Francisco and is a Creative Writing alumna from California State University, San Bernardino. A 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee and 2016 Cave Canem Book Prize finalist, her work has previously appeared in Ghost Town Literary Journal and The Pacific Review.
A MONTHLY PUBLICATION OF FLASH FICTION, PROSE POETRY, & MICRO ESSAYS
Cover Image: "A Peaceful Coexistence Part II"