Kamby Bolongo Mean River named one of 25 Important Books of the 2000s by HTML Giant

KBMR was named one of 25 Important Books of the decade by HTML Giant. And was a Page One selection of New & Noteworthy Books by Poets & Writers Magazine.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

No News Today - Guest Post - Kristen Millares Young

About The Fall

You have to go, he said, finally. 
Go where? I asked. 
I have to stay with him, and watch. 
Watch what?
Watch for Owen.
Is this him?
The chill flesh of the dead man’s palm began to register in my hand. 
No.  I don’t know this man.  Owen is out there.

It had become dark while I knelt, shivering and staring at the ground.  It was raining.
How long has it been? I asked.
Three hours.  A long time now. 
He snapped on a new pair of gloves.  My name is Paul.
Crouching to take my hand, he examined my fingertips.  Your nail beds.  They’re purple.

I swayed, fetal, and shook my head.  He stooped and cradled me into his arms, moving faster now that I was secured. 

I thought of my wedding day, and doorways, and the rumble of Owen’s chest.  His slanted smile.

I had seen my husband breathing hard and pulling at his knee, wedged between seats smacked together by the impact.  Saw gray water foam with purses and peanut bags and tug his curls toward the sky.  Saw silver bubbles cling to the corners of his mouth as he punched the seat in front of him.  Saw others struggle and go slack. 

I know he pulled himself free, felt him jerk his leg loose.  Shared his surge to the fast retreating surface.  Heard the air escape his mouth like a flock of doves.

I hear them flutter and coo.  Their gentle murmurs echo through my bathtub, where I am releasing my breath, burble by burble.  My legs squeak against the porcelain.

Did fish stop to smell his chest when they parted the waves of hair to nibble his freckles, as I did.  Did eels slip their tongues between his front teeth, as I did.

By now, a pair of steeltoed boots has attuned to his absence like a lover, emptied by a thousand mouths, the strange clicking and whirring of the sea his final song. 

I turn on my side and nestle next to him.

Kristen Millares Young is a writer and journalist whose work has been featured by the Guardian, the New York Times, KUOW 94.9-FM, City Arts Magazine, Pacifica Literary Review, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Miami Herald ,TIME Magazine and the Buenos Aires Herald. Kristen was the researcher for the NYT 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning story “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek,” which also won a Peabody. Kristen graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts from the History and Literature Department, and from the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Washington. www.kristenmyoung.com