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THE PARENTS, THEY HAVE LOST THEIR DAUGHTER, Molly Gaudry

who grew not under the mother's heart but in it; the daughter, she never bought this thing the mother said and said again whenever the daughter was sad; the mother, now she is the one who is sad; the father, his sadness is unimaginable; he does not want to be in this strange land holding what remains of his daughter between his hands, he does not want to be in this country of people who look like his daughter, who remind him of his daughter who shot herself in the face and doesn't look like anyone or anything he knows or understands or sees before him now; the people, these people, they way they stare at the parents like the parents don't belong; the mother has half a mind to show their family portrait to anyone who will stop and look, and see, the mother will say, don't you see, I am a mother, just like you, and he is a father, like you, or you, and she was loved, we loved her, she was our daughter; the daughter, she did not intend for the father to find her; the mother, she'd been worrying about the daughter, called the father on his cell and told him to stop by the daughter's on his way from work; the daughter had not called the father on his cell in several days, so the father did what the mother said and let himself in after knocking several minutes; the daughter, she smelled the smell of a four-day-old death; the father, he smelled her before he saw her; the mother, she smelled the daughter on the father and has not been able to sleep beside him since, not even in the hotel they are paying an arm and two legs for because it was the hotel they'd stayed in when they picked up the daughter from the orphanage and felt the happiest they'd ever felt together, happier even than when they were married three years before; now they are here, where the daughter wanted them to be, where the daughter had been born, where the daughter instructed them to scatter her ashes; the daughter, all that is left of her are her ashes, and the father, he can't bear to let her go, not like this, not like this, not so far from home; the mother, she puts her hand on the father's wrist and says, this is where she wanted to be, this is where she belongs; the father, he says nothing; he simply does his daughter's bidding in a final act of love, still thinking, not like this, not like this; this is where she wanted to be, this is where she belongs; not like this, not like this, not like this

Spring/Summer 2009 â–Ş 17

Kartika Review 05  

Cover Design Art Credits: Joy Zhu, “Twist of Fate” (2009) Kartika Logo Design: Ben Hwang © 2009 by Kartika Review San Francisco, California...

Kartika Review 05  

Cover Design Art Credits: Joy Zhu, “Twist of Fate” (2009) Kartika Logo Design: Ben Hwang © 2009 by Kartika Review San Francisco, California...

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