The Closet-Woman

Leave a comment

June 20, 2016 by The Citron Review

by Babak Lakhomi

 

The woman in the closet has curly hair, cracked lips. She doesn’t speak our language. When I open the closet door, she stares at me, her small eyes smeared with sadness.

I don’t know how she has ended up here in this narrow closet.

I stay home for days when my girlfriend is sleeping at her own place, but the woman doesn’t leave the closet. I open the door and feed her pasta with a spoon. She eats greedily, her paleness gradually going away.

I hear the closet-woman’s muffled breathing the next time I have my girlfriend’s plump breasts cupped in my hands.

Are you here with me? my girlfriend asks as my lips press on her split part. You’re not here, she replies. She leaves bed, slams the bathroom door. I hear her opening the tap to splash water on her wet parts.

I wake up in the middle of the night and think about the closet-woman. I have given her a pillow, but is she comfortable in there? I plunge my face into my pillow and pull the sheet over my head, but I can’t go back to sleep. I tiptoe to the bathroom. I don’t flush so as not to wake her.

Sometimes she sings in the closet. What does she do the rest of the day? Alone in the darkness between my shirts and pants? I want to ask her to come and sit with me.

The next time I open the closet door, she is wearing one of my checkered shirts. She curls her fingers around my neck and puts her forehead on mine. Her hands are soft, tender, smelling of pine trees. I start to tremble. I want to press my lips on hers, but she pulls her head away to hide behind a blue shirt.

Afterwards, whenever I open the door, her food plate is untouched. She is crumpled in a corner, craning her neck, crying recklessly.

When I have nothing to do, I crawl inside the closet and sit beside her. If I stay for long, she sometimes puts her head on my shoulder and sheds her tears there. I want to do something to keep her from crying. I want to take her out, show her places, but she won’t leave the closet. I want to read her poems that she won’t understand.

When my girlfriend is at my place, I open the closet door as soon as she goes to the bathroom.

You’ve become distant, is everything alright? says my girlfriend.

I want to tell her about the woman in the closet, about the songs she sings, but I don’t know what she’ll say.

 

Babak Lakghomi Lives and writes in Toronto. His fiction has previously appeared in Necessary Fiction.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

🍋10th Anniversary

Fall 2019 IssueSeptember 23rd, 2019
5 months to go.

🍋 Instagram

The Center, if it holds, requires the Hole, as if the Spiral were pressed in a vinyl disk. Set the heart of Nothing on the spindle and start the record round; "Record" by James B. Nicola #TheCitronReview #Spring2019 #amreading https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/record/
Marriage! That blessed arrangement! https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/white-wedding/ #amreading #microfiction #weddingstories
Now in our Spring Issue, Helen Chambers invites us to read now of forever hold our peace. https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/spring-wedding/ #amreading #microfiction #weddingstories
Knitters of the world, unite! "Turtles" is a needle-gripping flash from @kaelyhorton . March with us toward passionate prose. (Stitching now our handmade Spring 2019 Issue.) https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/turtles/ #amreading #flashfiction
Tornado of Flash Fiction Warning! https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/outside-of-oklahoma/ #amreading #Spring2019 #TheCitronReview #cheerstotenyears
The creative nonfiction pieces we’ve chosen for this Spring issue are about pain, they are about grief, and they are, in a strange way, about rebirth. The sudden death of a mother, a woman interviewing grieving families about the unimaginable deaths of their children, a man struggling with his boy hood role in the death of other creatures, and a woman channeling the pain of others: all of these pieces are rooted in death, destruction, and grief. But I can also say that I found the pieces hopeful, because the pieces were about confronting pain, and embracing the growth that comes with it. Perhaps they are, as the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins told us, struggling with the “I can no more,” and finding your way, however painfully, to the “I can/Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.” Even as we grieve and struggle with these writers, we rejoice in their honesty and their bravery. Please enjoy our selections for the 2019 Spring Creative Nonfiction portion of The Citron Review. Nathan R. Elliott Creative Nonfiction Editor The Citron Review #amreading #Spring2019 #TheCitronReview #cheerstotenyears https://citronreview.com/

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new issues by email.

%d bloggers like this: