Paisley

by James Claffey

 

Wednesdays she wears paisley, a dress or a scarf. It’s superstition; from home, from when her parents lived in Tehran, before the fall. She remembers little from her childhood, other than an Irish Wolfhound with hip dysplasia and halitosis. Wednesdays are the day she visits her lover’s grave on the outskirts of town, nestled into a hillside next to the narrow wooden church she never enters. She feeds almonds to the crows that hunt the parking lot for scraps. They recognize her, the pattern of the boteh, the pine cone-shape triggering a distant memory from the corvid’s book of remembrance. Kneeling by the grave, tugging at weeds, her tears match the shape of the gold-brocaded motifs on her dress. A straggly gray-feathered crow tells his secrets. He whispers, “Tell all the others that I’ll write someday.” Who the others are, she has no idea, but the crow repeats the message and snatches the last almond from her hand.

 

 

 

Irishman, James Claffey is the author of the short fiction collection, Blood a Cold Blue, from Press 53, and his novel, The Heart Crossways, is available from Thrice Publishing. 

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