The apartment house we lived in burned down to the second story, blackened timbers smoking. The bed I slept in a crumble of cinders; the double bed where my father read cheap detective novels now a warped mattress spring, wooden slats consumed, everything soft or sentimental melted away. Across the absence somehow the remains of the other bedroom survive, a narrow bed for my mother sleeping apart, the bureau in which I shared a drawer, outlines of the single closet; the wire hangers for her aprons whose pockets she filled with raw carrots. I hear the sound of her eating them late at night. The doorway of that time like a furrow dolphins make, a depth surmised. Continuance believed in.

John Allman | Mudlark No. 31
Contents | Trio