Poetry Fiction 2011

Immortal

With the press of a button,
she appears out
of darkness, sitting
with one ankle
over the other,

in a woven dress
and sandals,
traces of coca leaf
still on her lips,
her hair braided finely,

with a wrinkle in one cheek
where her shawl
touched it.
Sometime after her sacrifice,
lightning probably

burned her body,
leaving the marks.
Fifteen maybe,
well nourished, with blood
still in her heart,

she sits in an
acrylic cylinder
at a temperature of zero,
as she did for five
hundred years

in an underground
niche, after drinking
maize beer
and falling asleep,
then freezing.

A plaque states:
According to beliefs,
children do not die
but join ancestors
on the mountaintop.

“She doth not sleep,”
I thought, years later,
kneeling with my
eyes closed beside
Mother’s coffin.

“Look, Henri, isn’t she beautiful!”
my aunt exclaimed,
but I couldn’t.
I don’t need to know
what I already know.

Presented by

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In