Postcard proseIssue 15 | June 2012

Invitation

by William Kelley Woolfitt

1914: Tamanrasset, Hoggar, Algeria

Dear Br Sebastién,

If you know a priest who wishes to join me, you may tell him this: I have been alone for ten years. Infrequently, I let myself long for a companion, the clasp of a hand, the cadences of my mother tongue. My daily task is to imagine Jesus. I make pictures in my head: Him keeping company with me here, or else me in Nazareth, watching Him live His life among fishermen, harlots, the multitudes, letting Himself be condemned, flogged, and nailed for the saving of my soul. I work with my clumsy hands, donkey legs, and crooked back.

I am glad for these tasks by which I taste my neighbor’s life. I serve as druggist for Tuareg and Haratin; porter, hosteller, and confessor for strangers. I eat like the people of this country—barley and dates, berries, goat’s milk, an occasional tomato. I have survived winds that howl, scour, and sometimes freeze; sun that withers, burns, blinds; unceasing drought, cracks gaping in the ground like the mouths of the dead; then the rare week of rain that pounds, batters, soaks, saturates, washes the earth away.  If you know some curious priest, hearty, mature, please share with him this letter.

About the author

William Kelley Woolfitt goes walking on the Appalachian Trail or at his grandparents’ farm on Pea Ridge, West Virginia whenever he can. He is in his third year of PhD studies and is the author of The Salvager’s Arts, co-winner of the 2011 Keystone Chapbook Prize. His poems and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Ninth Letter, Shenandoah, and Sycamore Review, among others.

Read our current issue:

Poetry

Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok