Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts


by Emma Barnes


I sat and listened to
the sound the world made,
the murmur that escaped me
only when the noise gathered
and settled.

She did not grieve at the sight of the body.

It was a cyclical reversal in time
and he was dressed in pastel potency,
arms folded as if they had belonged to him
all along.

I was standing next to the father,
the subjective figure
pressing down his inaccessible nausea
with the same thumb that had baptized
the child’s silent forehead,
the first and last time
her hands soft and her dress
His mother, tormented,
curled her weightless limbs onto the ground
this is what it is to exist in a contingent
and hollow realm;
in her absence
her self-proclaimed daughter
had filled herself with intruders,
loosened herself
and gone.