Swans

by Vera Nazarian

(an excerpt)

I continue to knit even now, as they stir up the flames below me.

They hadn't bothered to tie my hands, out of pity maybe. Or maybe, this freedom is his final love gift to me.

My fingers move rapidly, a storm. They work the needles, pulling rough strands of colorless wool into loops and stitches, starting the last sleeve of the seventh shirt. Meanwhile, my mind wanders, lulled into a moment of peace, of times blurring.

I blink. And I wake from a recurring daydream of a deep velvet black sky, with sprinkles of sugar which are pinpoints of light, pale saffron and green.

The wonder of it stands to engulf me. In spirit I sail the boat of gossamer that is my body--their bodies, all. I inhabit them. This is the flesh of a swan, covered in pearl-white down, but turned to huelessness by the night. Above, below me, beating wings, none of them my own. On one level I feel nothing, hear a vacuum of silence, while on another level I hear the crackling of the rising flames.

...

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