Addison Namnoum

Addison Namnoum is a writer and artist living in Philadelphia, USA. She serves as the fiction editor at L’Éphémère Review, reads for Philadelphia Stories and A Public Space, and assists at InLiquid Art + Design, a nonprofit for the arts. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Platypus Press’ 2412, Words Dance, and JuxtaProse Literary Magazine, among others. When not writing or reviewing stories, Addison can be found busily bringing up a dog called Sula. You can follow her on twitter @addisonnamnoum or keep up with her writing on www.adnamnoum.com.

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GRANDFATHER

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This morning I go to pour the yogurt from the spoon

when returning it to the fridge, a wind capsizes

within me.

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I wonder how long yogurt

will remind me of him. His snarl of a mouth

reduced to the small, pursed

PPPPPPo we strived to pour love into as he lay

concerned on the bed we erected in the den, my dad’s

childhood room. His eyes—

how they followed us around, taking it all in

furiously, the dark, the stink, how we struggled

PPPPPPto shut winter out: the nurse turning the blinds

her sad, heavy voice recommending

no light—

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PPPPPP“See his skin,”

she gestured to the once proud arms that raised

the beans, tilled earth, held grandchildren

PPPPPP“Like paper,” too delicate for even

a breeze…

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At night, his anxiety getting the better of everyone

the drugs we worriedly flushed down his stomach

pushed into his mouth—

That hole in his nose. Death

eating his skull, knocking on doors, on bone

finding its way in where we’d tried to shutter it

PPPPPPhow we couldn’t keep it out.

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Now there’s rest. The house sold to a nice, young

couple, and the garden gone. There’s

less fighting. Less of his voice in the hall.

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Two days ago, my father calls me in the city

and I get a little windblown remembering

his grip on living, his fear of letting

go. The look of him as he held my hand

the last time:

like a child, like a thin noble reed of something

rattling

smiling in the breeze.

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OUR NECKS

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Haven’t we all felt it:

The slow lean from a car,

the leer in a breath

which both mocks and wants us,

night air on our necks…

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We attempt

to walk the most lit path,

go firmly along

the sidewalk’s spine,

form bad lullabies.

Carry keys. Carry fists.

Carry more than ourselves.

p

ppppppFree, for a moment

p

Imprisoned by the fact of our body

the next.

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