Volume 9, November 2013

Cynthia Marie HoffmanView Contributor’s Note

[Before my grandmother is admitted]

Before my grandmother is admitted to the nursing home, she wanders a house in Alabama, pinching the small, slick levers hidden on the walls. It is possible to move a lever and initiate night, nightgown blustery. Sometimes, in one of the rooms, a young woman appears wearing curly hair and a mark on her hand from human teeth. My grandmother finds night levers in every room. Sometimes, in some of the rooms, day comes then swiftly dissolves. The carpet swamped with darkness sloshes at her feet. What is the purpose of this room where a luminous platform draped with sheets drifts in black waters? This strange woman behind her, reaching? She is tired. Her ankles are thin. If she lies down, she cannot be sure whether this boat will cast her, irretrievably, even farther from home.