Postcard proseIssue 05 | June 2009

On Naxos

by Janice D. Soderling

I arrive on Naxos disconsolate as Ariadne and find a seaside apartment an hour’s ride out of Hora. I say I will take it if they fix the lock on the entrance door. The girl assures me that her father patrols the grounds day and night, but I insist.

Baba, baba, she shouts and Baba appears, not pleased to have his dinner interrupted. I watch him work and wonder if the profanities, Greek but understandable, are directed at the lock or at me.

With a grand gesture, he indicates that the door is now secure. I empty my backpack to claim the two rooms as my home, then discover that the lock on the patio door is broken too.

*  *  *

I fall asleep reading Vrettakos: Love is in my heart like an almond tree branch / in a glass of water. When I wake up, the patio is shadowed and I am no happier than before.

The sun hits the mountain and shatters into shards of yellow, orange, rose, violet. Night arrives quickly and utterly. I sit unmoving in the glow of a single candle, the silver moon glinting high above me, thin as a bent needle.

Then, in the distance, the high-pitched yelps of a small-sized dog. Before it has finished five staccato warnings, the first one echoes back, distorted and amplified. The mongrel replies with increasing ferocity, yaps frantically at itself for half an hour or more. I imagine a lone little bundle of fur, wild-eyed and panting.

An enemy is out there, concealed by tangles of grapevines, inching toward the dog, inching toward me, through the olive groves, past marble ruins of fallen pillars, stalking us through the unlocked doors of memory.

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