Salamander 2024 Fiction Contest

SUBMIT: May 1 through June 2, 2024 | READING FEE: $15


Pinning up the Dead

Maria Isabelle Carlos
| poetry


Kuya said to coffin Goldie in an empty cigarette pack, or say some
words and flush him down the drain, but his sleek belly was a wink in the
lonely morning light – I couldn’t. Ran to the backyard, found Mama at the
line fastening inside-out jeans with pant-legs stepping light on the wind.
Stole a wooden clothespin from her basket and pinched Goldie by the
tailfin near a post. Surely a bird would fly him up.

“That’s not what you do with the dead,” Mama said.

“It’s what I’d do with my dead.” You too, I almost added: I’d pin
her to the clothesline with a hundred fasteners, and keep her there until my deathday, when a sound like winded wings would be the last beating heart I’d hear.

Maria Isabelle Carlos is a poet from Columbia, MO. Her work has appeared in The Collagist, Cellar Door, and was a prizewinner in the Independent Weekly’s Poetry Contest. She currently lives in New Orleans, LA.

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