by Eliza Victoria
They found a pillar of salt outside the city limits, the shape neatly preserved. A woman caught in the gesture of longing. Those who found her at first wanted to sprinkle her on the burned earth, the trees charred beyond naming. Then they opted on practicality, and rubbed her into the flesh of gutted fish, poured her into soup, placed her in crystal decanters on the tables of kings.
All who tasted her wished to go back. Back where? they asked, and Home, they whispered. No matter how dirty, no matter how black, no matter the many times the question was asked: How can you live here?
But this is mine, they said. This foul place. This is mine. And they wept for the streets that no longer existed, the salt trickling down their cheeks.
Eliza Victoria lives in the Philippines. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in various publications based in her country and elsewhere, most recently in Story Quarterly, Expanded Horizons, Vanilla Literary and Art Journal, and Pedestal Magazine. Visit her at http://sungazer.wordpress.com, or follow her on Twitter (@HiElizaHere).
This poem originally appeared in Writers' Bloc (Rutgers).
Photography: Giant Lego Woman Washed in by Sea, by Yaniv Golan.