Silence swells the night. I listen for my father’s voice and wait for streetlights to blink on and off, dead bulbs to blaze as I approach. The moon has spoken to me. This autumn—one death, two deaths, three, four. My memory balks, refusing to expose the numbers lining up, the ones I know, the ones I don’t, the animals as well, spirits sprinkled in the cooling air on dark mornings and at dusk. I sense the day I’ll be a thinned and hollowed carcass, the gossamer sac of a caddis fly ballooned with the souls of loved ones, their weight my grief and ballast, the shape that whispers these were the days that held what I needed, before there was only emptiness to drag. Their uncertainty, a smoldering radiance, should have been a deliberate, focused act. *Originally published in Grasslimb Journal, August 2019*
About the Poet:
Carrie Vaccaro Nelkin’s poetry has appeared in The Orchards Poetry Journal, The Poet, Writing In A Woman’s Voice, and elsewhere. Carrie also writes speculative fiction and has had short stories in Supernatural Tales, Bards and Sages Quarterly, Luna Station Quarterly, and other places. She is author of the horror novel Snare and a member of the Horror Writers Association. You can find her at cvnelkin.com, on Twitter at @cvnelkin, and on Facebook (Carrie Vaccaro Nelkin, Author).