When My Mother Died by Nathan Alling Long

When my mother died, Easter was just a few squares away. The day felt like a porcelain basket of fruit dropped to the ground. A thousand bottles of red wine flowed across the living room floor and I felt the miscarriage begin of the child I had carried my entire life. I became someone without knees, living in an abandoned house. When my mother died, it was like witnessing a passenger train derail, the faces from all those legends and cocktail parties smearing past me like rain. A wasp ceased thrashing in the water glass by the sink. And all the colored houses in the neighborhood slipped down into the valley without a whisper of sound. I walked all day and into the night with shoes that would never fit. Far outside the city, the moon pulled its coat up over its face and left me in an empty field. The earth was so dense, I could not drive a hole into it. I could only stand like a tree without root until the wind forced me to the ground.

Nathan Alling Long
IMG_closeupNathan_opt (2)Nathan Alling Long is an Associate Professor of creative writing at Stockton University in NJ. His stories and essays appear in over a hundred publications, include Tin House, Glimmer Train, Story Quarterly, and Crab Orchard Review. He is currently seeking publication for his story collection, Everything Merges with the Night, as well as a collection of flash fiction, Fifty-Fifty.