Photographic Memory #2

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September 1, 2014 by The Citron Review

by Hun Ohm

 

Lindos, Rhodes 1996. Acropolis.

They had told you to take care when walking the stone path, and greater care once within the crumbling walls. The air was a lattice of vapors, stray clouds bivouacked around the wavering sun. There were two guides. There was an endless series of stories while they pointed toward the cliff’s abrupt face, the several hundred feet rising above their beloved bay. They suggested that along the way you consider the vendors’ pale embroidery that could be worn as a veil of condolence, or a shawl to protest curses. You wrapped two around your shoulders and refused to barter, one last point after a morning when the indelible scars had risen again, leavened with the absence of forgiveness.

One guide recited lachrymose anecdotes about forgetfulness and song, the other of a crown of lions, a goddess birth in the soft foam sacrificed by the sea. Then the warning again in the guise of an afterthought’s diminuendo. Perhaps they had other reasons for refraining so. There were other foreign faces bespectacled with unsteady eyes, footsteps syncopated by holiday canes. A prefatory stumble, and the guides said to hold one arm around you atop the ruins. They implored you to take care and would later insist their story was true. The blue stretched beneath you forever into this sfumato. That word, you whispered as you leaned forward with your arms outstretched. In the sky, the false azure smile of a crescent moon.

 

Hun Ohm is a writer and intellectual property attorney. He lives in Western Massachusetts. His fiction has appeared in Necessary Fiction, Literary Orphans, Bartleby Snopes, Gone Lawn, Every Day Fiction, and other publications.

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Snow on brush in desert

IMAGE CREDIT: Jill Katherine Chmelko. Protest Road, Winter. 2019.

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