Volume 3, May 2011

Anna JourneyView Contributor’s Note

Open House

My mother conjures a phantom orchard from the fumes of her polishing before the strangers arrive—our pine floors simmer in oil. The scent: my Italian friend, Safia, in childhood, who—during her parents’ divorce— throttled all four of her pet gerbils, tossed them into her backyard’s oily lemon grove. We drank tart lemonade while our parents sipped juleps, spun spears of bluish mint sheared from the dark side of the house. It’s always the dark side of the house in memory. The dark side. We sat in a circle of frayed wicker.