BY ELANA BELL
My mother was a dead doll. I held her hand in the land of the dead and did not turn away.
In the land where the animals made no sound, where the cows stood at the empty lake and wept dry tears, and the deer waited by the long stalks of dead grass, and everything whitened in the heat, I did not turn away from my mother, her eyes, empty of their water.
My country: dark and flat like tar you could drown in,
dark as night with no moon, a lake with no bottom: nowhere to rest, and full of the bones of beasts no one knows the names of.
The distance between our countries sang.
The distance between us a song played on the strings of a great instrument we do not see but know is there
like the invisible particles that make up all matter, even the breath, even the breath fogging the glass behind which my mother waits,
the air suspended between us: no matter the distance.