Large rotted teeth clamped her pale nipple.
My voice disrupts the shovel’s rhythm. Father’s thick fingers sift through clumps of soil. A woman’s delicate work, he casts off rocks, fool’s gold, splintered glass. His gnarled finger points to the hole cradling my mother. I fling dirt, shroud her sophic eyes.
In concert, we level tattered ground, although his fingers beg to render virgin soil. Dirt-spattered hands press my shoulders. I remember the things they carried. Steaming cups of milk, books with cracked seams, a fragile kitten. Me.
My shot rang out, missed its target.
Voices from the hills quicken, her work here incomplete. I pray she will rise and reclaim this mountain, halt their sikinnis dance.
She had warned me to leave.
I imagine her alongside me, coxswain on our transatlantic journey, destined for Aeaea, caressed by the Tyrrhenian Sea.
We shall depart once I am redeemed.