Thinking of a Monk by Jefferson Navicky

at the decline of the Ottoman Empire, in some far flung border province, alone, with dogs and images, and who would have recorded testimony of rumors, of theosophy, rivers, moving pictures, women, violins and oddly strung instruments, of enormous open ears and hands, and the whispers of white animals disappearing into the hills.

Wondering if, when that monk died, I was on a train with an open newspaper, sitting on the left side as cattle streamed by.

Thinking of the Cable Car Cinema near the river that allows the eyes an education, thinking of an extent of sun off the building next door about which I know absolutely nothing, of a violin that plays so finely regardless of location or master.

Wondering what it would be like to clap the hands together to see if it is possible to trap the sound of palms.

Remembering the beautiful animal you were, sleeping in bed, your natural habitat, with your white fur and rounded hip like a flag, and how you imitated that animal, purring, how you burrowed into the modest space of sleep, shamelessly, with such joyful abandon like a monk into the furrowed hills surrounding his monastery.

Jefferson Navicky work has appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, Quickfiction, Hobart, Birkensnake, Stolen Island and many others. He teaches English as an adjunct at Southern Maine Community College, and lives in Freeport, Maine with his partner, Sarah.