Memories Afire

He brings the stack of letters to his nose. The words stink of gun oil, sweat and loss. For the third time, he lets his eyes linger over the emptiness overflowing her side of their closet. There is little of her left… only dry letters, confused memories, and a twisted hanger next to his service uniform.

“We’re ready for you,” his sister says from the door. “Rid your mind of rancid thoughts. True cleansing must start deep within.” She walks to where he stands, and touches his face—gun oil, sweat and loss are overtaken by frankincense, patchouli, and a smile. “You’ll be whole again.”

He watches the joy in her eyes reach for the sorrow in his heart, and he wonders if sisterly love can really be that strong or that blind. Can’t she see his dead bones under nearly decayed flesh?

They walk hand in hand towards the open door. And like with the womb, his sister steps out first. She guides him into a circle of women dressed in crimson and veiled in black, chanting around the dancing flames of a bonfire. Without speaking, she kisses his cheek before joining the chant.

He doesn’t know if he believes in magic, but his sister does. “And I believe in her,” he whispers, throwing the letters, one by one, into the fire. As his ex-wife’s words are unwritten into ashes, he visualizes unwanted feelings fading away with the smoke, and feels his bones breathe anew.

memories afire
consume tales lost to winter
and rebirth a heart

inspired by “Fear”,
winner of the tenth Expanding Bits of Fiction and Poetry into Haibun
and linked to dVerse (Open Link Night)

a wee note: the eleventh Expanding Bits of Fiction and Poetry into Haibun won’t be posted until the first week of May, after the conclusion of Dark Poetry for the Cruellest Month, 2016.

Enfuego, by Timothy Richard Lavelle“Enfuego”, by Timothy Richard Lavelle

43 thoughts on “Memories Afire

  1. Oh, the feelings are so strong with this one. I love the sibling connection and what that great circle of sisters is doing for her beloved brother!Wonderful expansion!

  2. For some reason, it made me think a bit of my children. LOL, I know they think I am rather, ahem, eccentric, but they trust my oddity, or at very least my sincerity to help.

    • I think that is the most wonderful (and valuable) gift we can give a loved one: support, trust and love, even if we don’t quite follow their tune. We have a lot of experience with that, don’t we? LOL!

  3. I was about to say (exactly what Debra said) “words are unwritten into ashes” ahhh I can almost feel the relief as they blacken, also love the contagious sibling magic 😉

  4. I love the wisdom of these words: “Rid your mind of rancid thoughts. True cleansing must start deep within.”

    I believe in the rebirth of the heart and soul ~ Thanks for sharing Magaly ~

  5. It reminds me of a what would courtesans and attendant maidens of Persephone have said, when traveling from Hades with her back into the light of Spring again, to get one of Demeter’s consorts to go with back with them…what an enjoyable read…


  6. I have attended ceremonies where you discard things that hold you back into the fire. This felt very real for me and the bond between siblings is strong. He believes because she believes.

    • Thank you, Truedessa. Every spring, at sunrise after the Vernal Equinox, I write all the unwanted things from the previous year on paper or dry leaves (all the hurts, the troubles…). Then I burn them in a ritual very similar to the one in the poem. Fire and Will can truly cleanse.

  7. I haven’t adequate words to express my feeling reading this. But someday I’ll use “bones breathe anew.” in my lines (with acknowledgement of course :))…Hope you’ll permit me. A grand write Magaly!!!

  8. i always look forward to your links. your stories are the perfect combination of prose fiction and poetry. they also sorta suck the breath out of you with their vivid atmosphere. what i’m trying to say is, i sorta love this. 🙂

  9. I love your writing!! “rebirth a heart”
    There is so much fear in letting go, but there is so much power in it!
    I experienced something the past few days, it’s been a heavy weight off of me. I might write something about it on my blog.
    Big Hugs

Leave a Comment