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Arielle Guy

Letter to My Mother


And there he is, the Pastor, eternal husband, of goats and wheat, because I exist in this world of almanacs, cabinets, and a good liver.


Longitude and latitude, years separate, no more, daily paper cast by ritual, marriage out in the field, lined with familiar totems.


These were dreams, a foreign city, family and births and deaths of a different time than my own, held close like a talisman.


At last, my childhood comes back, and my family, and with them, my husband, of this time, this life, not one lived in history.


And it’s not a Pastor, or a priest, a thin Rabbi folds white sheets, shining like snapping moons on a Mediterranean evening.


Intended timing a clothesline between homes. Two, three, four generations back. There are no strangers.


My life has been an anxious intruder, swells of grief, terror, love. Plants have died in my house and now, two human beings, two cats and five plants live.


I always have questions. Before I call, I always think, one day, you’ll be dead and I wonder who I’ll ask then. Nature is terrible, bright, focused.


Sunlit, rainlit, crystal globe, clear as eyes, looks out on the ocean, gray with remains, bones, scales, early life.



The best waves I ever felt were at the beach in Tel Aviv. Water, fierce, knocked me down again and again, pure and incandescent.


This is who I really am, you’ve said to me over and over, look at these moments in the waves and trust them. Trust yourself and don’t be afraid.


We have finally found our atoms. Godlent, gold, fieldlike. We are uncertain fields building sunhouses with earth, roots and straw.


Ghosts live in the yard, in the garden, among roses and garlic. Our hearts are good. We have finally come home.

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