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.
This morning I go to pour the yogurt from the spoon
when returning it to the fridge, a wind capsizes
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
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
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.
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.
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
smiling in the breeze.
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…
to walk the most lit path,
go firmly along
the sidewalk’s spine,
form bad lullabies.
Carry keys. Carry fists.
Carry more than ourselves.
ppppppFree, for a moment
Imprisoned by the fact of our body