Rebekah Denison Hewitt 's piece "Because Longing Is Part of Belonging" originally appeared on Ruminate's Issue 36: Writ in Water.
REBEKAH DENISON HEWITT
Because Longing Is Part of Belonging:
The father with his daughters’ names tattooed
on his eyelids. The older daughter searching
the trailer, the trailer, stale cigarettes and mange.
She grabs clothing, books, a lamp, a picture. Things
to bring to the group home. To her, the world
is a garbage dump. The world is white sand beaches,
both are littered with the excrement of birds.
It’s suspicious that model homes and malls
exist at all, isn’t it? Those museums of wanting,
who belongs there?
I don’t want to keep you
too long, but I do
want to tell you about refunds.
How if you’re a single parent who goes to prison
and your kids get taken by the state, you worry
about the neighbors walking off
with your washer.
The whale watch where everyone puked
into the sea while the careening boat
was surrounded by whales
raising their tails to smack
the water. No one even cared—
heads down, breathing the boat’s exhaust.
No refunds, rough seas were announced
before leaving the dock.
What if there was no warning?
What if you didn’t pay for this?
What difference does it make? Belongings
stinking and stacked in a laundry basket,
what is stolen, what remains and who pre-paid.
Her dad gave her some roller skates,
then walked away with his head in his hands.
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