Here's one of my pieces:
with a first line from "At the Hundredth Mile from Mong-Tahn"
by Janet M. Choi
When the night fell like dark hair over the sun, we began. The mother approached, spectral and bright-eyed, with her fingers fanned out before her. I caught her hands in my own, and washed them with water from the battered pot warming on the fire. Standing nearly hidden by the fringe of trees to the west, her lover watched. We knew nothing of him except that he had come from somewhere else, that blue rivers were visible beneath his skin, that he smelled of meat.
Their child is dead now.
I dried the mother's hands with the hem of my skirt. She picked up the boy's body then, and placed it on the woven cloth at the bottom of the vessel. From the west, we heard her lover weep. The woman to my left spit into the sand, yelled into the darkness, and the lover went quiet. He was watching, still, when we pushed the vessel off the shore, still watching as it drifted away on the current. What did he wait for? For lamentations, the thrashing of arms? Instead, the mother stood with her back straight, mouthing the words we were taught by the women who came before. Her oiled hair was piled high atop her head; a necklace of many shells lay like a blanket over her swollen breasts. She smelled of mother's milk gone sour.
Many thanks to editors Craig S. Perez and Jennifer Reimer for including me in this issue.
The Achiote Press website is here.
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