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Run Towards Each Other by Katherine Riegel

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

3052952105_13829d2a06_zAnother winning entry in Brevity‘s Holiday Smile contest:

It is Thanksgiving, again. My smile is a weapon cutting off access to my grief-treasure. Or perhaps my smile is a slash given me by the gods of loss, always careless with their powers, when my mother died the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Her smile was a whole language: it made her a child, impish, until near the end, when it made her uncertain, afraid, vulnerable. Something small and furry you want to pick up out of the snow, cradle, help to survive.

My smile has survived – big-toothed, upper lip drawn high enough to expose my gums –  because my sister cradled me, my old loves did, my new loves hold me still. All with their arms stretched out to me – me, insignificant as grass.

Isn’t this what the holidays remind us to do? Run towards each other, with food. Bring…

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Italian Honeymoon: A Haibun

A chic trenchcoat cinched at her thick waist, our city guide steers us through St. Peter’s immensity. We are a small tight flock. We shuffle after Albertina pointing the way with her umbrella, raised and unopened, through the Basilica’s half-light. Through a school of Buddhist monks, saffron robes flashing like koi. Through scent of candle wax and centuries, of Carrara sunshine clinging to marble. She guides us past the pallid agony of the Pietà to the writhing muscular columns of the baldacchino, created by this miniscule nation’s genius builder. Barekneeknee, she makes us repeat after her. Barekneeknee. Pausing beneath a pale Teresa, orgasmic with pain or love, Albertina grasps one of my husband’s glossy black curls, stretches it taut in her overripe fingers:

Come Sansone…
I needed no translation
from this Delilah.