Ancestral photo album
Richard Manly Heiman
Your eyes beg questions nothing but spring thaws can calm. Flaubert tumbles from your pine shelves in the background, down along our bloodline. Your singsong whispers echo in my brain–I linger there, and I am your oxygen.
Do you see me, darkly? Like tintype apparitions, ectoplasmic shadows rear up black and grey. Your pupils swell and fulminate. All my thoughts grow hoarse. I squeeze my eyes just so; your face silhouettes and fades.
Once a child asked me–why are good lungs dark, and bad lungs bright? I didn’t have the x-ray answers, then. But now I think I know, from one old portrait: all the hollowness that holds you still.
About the writer:
Richard Manly Heiman lives in the pines on the slope of the Sierra Nevada. He works as a substitute teacher and writes when the kids are at recess. Richard’s work has been published by Rattle, Bop Dead City, Spirit Fire Review, Into the Void and elsewhere. He is a two-time 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee.