Salted Wound

Leave a comment

October 2, 2017 by The Citron Review

by  Mandy Shunnarah

 

We amble on a Dead Sea beach where in place of sand is crystalline salt, like piles of broken glass, like diamonds that have lost their shine. They cut all the same, and the tender arches of my feet, without the cloak of callouses, are sliced with each step. He curses me under his breath, not quietly enough.

During his railing minutes, I say nothing. Another lecture for the uncountable offenses I cause simply by being.

The beachcombers’ and sunbathers’ stares tell me: You shouldn’t let him talk to you like that. You need to leave him.

“Are you with a Birthright group?” the more curious among them ask, sensing our Americanness. There is no way to tell them we feel at home in a place prone to threat because we are about to implode. We don’t know how to explain this is supposed to be a vacation. He’s not even Jewish. And I’m half Palestinian.

I let him do the talking. He leaves that last part out.

I soak in the Dead Sea, everything but my face submerged, and will the salt: purge me of him.

I float, buoyed by the mineral that makes drowning impossible, and consider putting my head under, letting my eyes dissolve in their sockets. It would only take a moment to make real the blindness everyone tells me I already have.

A curly-haired toddler bespectacled in goggles splashes a few feet away. He swims without floaties, without worry. He doesn’t yet know all lakes are not as dedicated to keeping him alive as this one.

We are this place so battered with conflict. In the tunnels beneath ancient cities, in the playground bomb shelters painted like caterpillars and dragons, and in the mountains where soldiers watch with rifles poised, we grasp at something that is not there and has never been.

In the water where nothing can live, I see I cannot live with him.

Long after I emerge, the salt makes my open pores burn, all my shaved parts aflame. On our walk back to the kibbutz, I cauterize. Across the lake that masquerades as a sea, I wave goodbye to Jordan, knowing I bid farewell to more than this place.

That night I ask him if he ever really loved me. He turns away and pretends not to hear.

I smile at the ceiling, hoping he doesn’t see.

 

Mandy Shunnarah is a writer and book reviewer living in Columbus, Ohio. Her essays and reviews have been published in Entropy magazine, PANK, The Missing Slate, and New Southerner magazine. Her work is forthcoming in Fourth Genre and other publications. To read more, visit her website, offthebeatenshelf.com.

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
6 months to go.

🍋 Instagram

The new Spring Issue 2019 has launched with fresh bundles of Creative Nonfiction, Flash, Micro and Poetry. Share with friends! https://citronreview.com/ Contributors: Alina Stefanescu, Robert Carr, James B. Nicola, Amye Archer - Author, Geoff Martin, Christopher Rabley, Maria Terrone, Zack Butovich, Kaely Horton, Abigail Pettit, Christine Baerbock, Anne-Marie Hoeve, Helen Chambers Photo credit: @nathan6218
always it’s Spring)and everyone’s in love and flowers pick themselves – e.e. cummings, “Who knows if the moon’s” #Spring2019 #springequinox #poetry #TheCitronReview #cheerstotenyears
One more day and the spring issue is here! We are still accepting work for 2019. All work published this year will also be considered for our 10th anniversary issue which comes out this fall. https://citronreview.com/submission/ #Spring2019 #TheCitronReview #cheerstotenyears #amreading #10thanniversary #CitronStories #callforsubmissions
"Ashes" by Linda G White is a flash essay where the liminal is everything until it isn't. It's smoldering now in our Winter Issue. https://citronreview.com/2018/12/21/ashes/ #amreading #flashcnf #thecitronreview
Andrea Marcusa's microfiction "Freedom" offers us the world that had been denied. Feel the chill in our Winter Issue. https://citronreview.com/2018/12/21/freedom/ #amreading #microfiction #thecitronreview
Victoria Buitron's "The Translator" flash essay explores how language rearranges and connects us in our Winter Issue of The Citron Review. https://citronreview.com/2018/12/21/the-translator/ #amreading #flashcnf #thecitronreview #winterissue

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

%d bloggers like this: