Door to my apartment building.  Baku, Azerbaijan.

This is an experiment in fiction inspired by a photograph where I was looking out a door window. It is also my way of grieving and knowing that when you lose someone here on earth, through death or other means, it is not the end. One day, I will see their face in heaven again, and that gives me the peace to let go.

I have no idea if I will finish this because once school starts my focus will be on work. But if you have any ideas, suggestions on how to improve upon this, I’d love to hear from you.


There was the uncertainty,
a new air in her lungs.
As if breath wallowed inside,
reaching, penetrating
slicing gut,
Her bones.
New, she whispered to herself. Everything new.

Then, an old faded memory
slight stink of mold,
of darkness, writhing,
under green covers
peeling flesh
refusing doctors.
Lumps lumps lumps.
All she could think of
amidst the wetness of tears
was the other side
face dry.
The other side,
the glass door.
Take me to the other side.

And now, here she was.
This uncertainty,
skin white,
new, the word popping in her mind, new new new.
and all that breathing.
As if each breath cell were solid,
something to eat,
filling her up.

And then, there was him.
She always knew he was there,
a thin presence
as she spoke to the invisible
on bended knee
face down
endless tears
as no change for the better happened.
And instead decay.
She waited for decay.
Black rotten.

He walked towards her.
Crown on head,
stones, colors,
she couldn’t name.
Yet approachable,
Warm slush in her heart.
His eyes
reflecting her softness
her crumbling heart.
Her knees gave way.
He caught her hands.
Gravity escaped.

“Pachimoo?” Russian for why.
She refused to ask this question on the Other side.
Sometimes the word, Pachimoo,
would slip in the crevices of her thoughts,
and she liked that word.
It lacked the seriousness of its English counterpart.
It meant that she could laugh at the script she played out on the Other side.
It meant that she knew,
one day there would be no more lines.
Just a blank sheet,
no words,
and a deep longing to leave stage.
Pachimoo meant walking towards the door,
looking back,
at how serious we actors were,
truly feeling love and anguish,
just to have the lines yanked out.
When you still had so much to say.

“Pachimoo,” the whisper flew off her tongue,
and she regretted it.
She was afraid he would dislike her.
Not call her his daughter, his friend.
Praising him with her lips one second,
questioning him another.

He placed his hand on her forehead.
It was warm,
and then there was the unraveling.

“You are released from the clutches of war.”