Let’s not pretend it hasn’t happened to you, too
Why not, a newspaper flower pinned in her hair? Why not a drink, or two, on a Tuesday, why not late night phone calls to absent or forgotten lovers, her face laid lovingly on the sticky wooden bar, her voice on the phone a foreign animal. You’ve been there too, felt your heavy fingers dial the old remembered numbers, again, as if you could dredge out the pieces of yourself you lost to each of them, again, like winching bodies from a river: howling as you see their faces rise dripping from the water, as if they could be put back into to you, somehow, as if you could swallow them whole.
Let’s hope she burned it
The first time she went back to him, it was as if no time had passed. He sent her letters begging for forgiveness, full of odd drawings and promises, and she believed him, back then, though things had already begun to decay. She went back to him and he took her through the jungle to an abandoned hacienda, beautiful and whitewashed, standing in a clearing like a bone piercing flesh: the china still in its dusty cabinets, paintings of wide-eyed children hanging on the walls. There is a photo, though she may have burned it, of the two of them, there, kissing: she in that white dress, and he with his hands in her hair, the house around them in ruins, vines growing through the stones to tear it slowly to the ground.
Kimi Traube is a writer and translator living in New York City. Her short prose, prose poems, and translations have appeared in Bomb Magazine, Electric Literature, The Columbia Journal Online, and elsewhere. Her short fiction was highlighted in the Best of the Net Anthology in 2015, and her translation of Juan Villoro’s The Guilty garnered praise from the New York Times, The L.A. Times, and Three Percent.