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Monday, April 17, 2006


by Tara L. Masih

Black roads turn white with salt.
Ice shingles slide down the roof
startling her to a nocturnal alertness.
She sees him buried,
smothered under yellow sand
after he burrowed his way
into the earth
so that he could rise again.
In the day she suffers pictures of bleak anxiety
a constant barrage of pale-torn images
invading her breakfast of guilt
and pink grapefruit
flown from Florida groves.
Afternoons are not as bad--
there is blessed puritan work,
a seamless brocade of tasks
to cover that place in her mind
obsessed with repeating a name
she is trying not to remember
but is afraid to forget.
And at night again
the ice on the roof seems to be bearing down
as the pictures of war projected onto her bedroom ceiling
wage a winning battle of what is left
of her composure.
Yet still the cold, frosty moon
frames itself in her window
and it is the same dusty moon
that she imagines he has just cleaned and shined
before shooting it over to
her side
of the world.

Tara L. Masih received an MA in Professional Writing and Publishing from Emerson College. She has published fiction, poetry, and essays in numerous anthologies and literary magazines (such as Confrontation, Hayden's Ferry Review, Natural Bridge, New Millennium Writings, Red River Review, and The Caribbean Writer), and her essays have been read on NPR. Two black-and-white illustrated pamphlets featuring her flash fiction are forthcoming from The Feral Press. Awards for her work include the Lou P. Bunce Creative Writing Award, first place in The Ledge Magazine's 1995 fiction contest, a finalist fiction grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and a Pushcart Prize nomination. Ms. Masih was the assistant editor for STORIES, a national literary magazine, for three years. She now works as a freelance book editor and writer in Andover, Massachusetts. She was a regular contributor to The Indian-American and Masala magazines.