All It Loves

By Avital Gad-Cykman

It is dawn, but the sun is still lying on the floor at the top of the stairs. Last night, I thought I heard a woman in a long dress coming up to kiss me goodnight: Mother. But it was the sound of the sun's petal brushing against the stairs, fluttering over the handrail.

I had made the bed, white crispy sheets, a soft pillow, a feathery blanket. However, the sun could not make it to the room. It dropped on the floor, exhausted, an enormous yellow chrysanthemum picked, smelled and thrown.

Now it is dawn, and I am looking up. The room next to mine is closed and silent. Mother's translucent face shutting eyes between white sheets. Outside, the darkness retreats to its shelter, and a pale light, the leftover of yesterday's summer, drifts uncertain in the air. It enters through our cracked-open door and peers at the sun.

I tickle one yellow leaf and then another; I pull at the third but straighten it with regret. The sun opens an eye and takes in the hesitant light, the visitor. It enfolds the light with care and lets it breathe for another moment of dawn. I stand against the goose-bumped wall and watch the sun open up, letting go of the light it has nurtured, releasing all it loves.

Copyright © 2002 Avital Gad-Cykman

Avital Gad-Cykman lives in Brazil with her husband and two children. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Glimmer Train, Happy , Raven Chronicles, AIM, Imago, Yellow Bat review , Nemonymous, Salon   (twice) , Zoetrope All Story Extra ,Pindeldyboz ,Web Del Sol In Posse , Carvezine , PigIronMalt , and Absinthe.

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