About the Author
ANNAM MANTHIRAM is also the author of the Dysfunction: Stories, which was a Finalist in the 2010 Elixir Press Fiction Award. Annam’s work has been published in over twenty literary journals, including Cream City Review, Sierra Nevada Review,,and Monkeybicycle. A graduate of the M.A. Writing program at the University of Southern California, Ms. Manthiram resides in New Mexico.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
From After the Tsunami
My friends ask me why I do not eat fish. I tell them that it is difficult to consume something that once had eyes as big as mine. They laugh, and the joke moves the conversation forward and away.
Sometimes they push and want to know where I come from, why my nose is bent, if I have nightmares. When I think of my past, I imagine a bloody circle. The present is a labyrinth with stretches of promise and an underbelly of sickness. Reconciliation seems at times impossible.
The ones I lost emerge in dreams; my wife calls them terrors. Years cannot erase my memory of them. Their spirits continue to draw me to that place over and over and over again because therein lies salvation. For whom? I ask, but they do not say. Instead, they compel me to recall their lives, so as to give meaning to their existence. I need to remember; I need them to come back to me.