Nocturnes by Cathy Linh Che

There’s an indent where his body used to be. She saves the other half for books. In the dream, a wolf rattles the kitchen stove. When she wakes, it’s a man shaking a jar of teeth. When she wakes, it’s just the chattering wind.

A movie plays without a soundtrack. A voice calls over traffic. Tinsel glare of headlights, lake under a cold moon. A ghost-white nocturne wails down the corridor. It echoes into the dark font.

Prayer beads hung over her head. Incense, a small fist. A raven clawed her forearm, trying to grab hold. She touched the blinds. She lay back down. The ghost kept knocking on her body’s thick walls. She refused to let him out.

by Cathy Linh Che

published in Octopus Magazine 13

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