She Named Me Enoch by Logan Farmer


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She Named Me Enoch by Logan Farmer


She named me Enoch. And with her hands in her lap like two pieces of twisted metal neglected iron and cold she spoke of orchids and the way they grow and the way they wither and die like torn lovers bloodied in the womb and sliding out like two oiled serpents and the pictures I saw (old photographs taxonomies vintage sketch lousy pages with the bodies still intact and oozing) looked like women and I told her they look like women and I asked her what it means to die and wither and disappear: Death in the womb death in the woman all the same death when you clean your glasses all the same death when you see with opened eyes. And my eyes were opened and she named me Enoch when I slid out and my skeleton was soft then soft like rubber soft like cooked potatoes and I was fed and I grew and hardened and now I stand before her in the door and she tells me of orchids and what does it mean to die and does all die when I die and if I am dead then what is there? I washed my hands in the clean water diamonds shining and dancing shimmering light reflecting and cold reflecting on my face and arms as I dip and drink and breathe and watch the diamonds and they watch me and the sun hot on my neck hot on my shirt cooking me like a bird and I stand and creak like an old wooden scarecrow but never fall apart even if I think I might and I walk back through the trees through the canopy of shade dark and cool and I mount the steps and disappear behind the closed door and she sits there watching me as if she never moved as if she was just waiting like she said she always waited and I was not even surprised any more like she was some interminable monument to creation and to create the fact that nothing changes it just moves farther away as I watch it go—Your daddy was a good man. She says hardly even moving hardly even drawing breath and I watch her with my hands in my pockets and I can feel the cloth and I can feel my leg warm and sturdy underneath and I never had no daddy I don’t care what she says or he says or what they tell me about town because I know what it means to have a daddy and I know what a daddy does and what a daddy looks like and what a daddy says and I had none of that not my entire life did I have a daddy and I never will and when I’m alone some nights lying alone and awake sweating naked and damp I think about that and I know I’m right.— My daddy is a ghost. I tell her and she puts her head down but that is all no other movement the hands sit still and artificial in her lap and I wonder if she is scared or if she is anything at all or if I am and— Please I tell her Don’t say anything else. Let’s just sit and be quiet.—And that is what we did the sound of silence and the summer humming outside always quiet like a whisper but always there hiding around some corner following subtle and faint with hovering withered songs like that of an engine alive and running and pumping fuel and whatever else and you don’t hear it until you do and when you do there is nothing else but that hum that insect drone that planet hum this planet never stops always moving always humming never still never silent always there riotous noisy disorder and the shakes through my bones under my skin and rising to my eyes twitching and shaking and I think about the universe and the planets aligned and all of those stars we know nothing about and all of that blackness and that god that big holy father pointing down his fingers wrapped around his grip pointer still on the trigger just waiting just waiting until the time until the time is now now and shoot! All becomes blackness supernova no more man no more hum and mama flying off into the sky and then it all turns blue to black to white to gone and the creatures beyond that intelligent worlds and civilization and they ask you what is dead and what is blood and what does it mean to kill and I can tell them I can tell them all in one word in just one word they will see and that knowledge will destroy whole cities whole countries whole planets in fact all of them spiraling and bursting cast off into the heavens and god and me and mama and I will be nothing but stars fading out twinkling and gone fading into twilight and if I am not there to see then there will be no sight and if I am not there to be then there will be nothing and that is alright.— What are you going to do?

Quiet now. She’s crying now, her fingers opening and closing fist and no fist mechanical and robotic aching arthritic death tightening and relax like breathing like her hands like her lungs and the blood through all of them pumping pulling contracting like the sea like the tides pump pull and contract and her face looks all contorted, wrinkles bunched up wound tight almost childish her eyes drawn shut oozing clear dark water and her mouth hanging slack strings of saliva but she is silent she grieves silent and outside the world grieves with her all of them singing silent despair and surrender down the highways and hollers over mountains off the peaks off into the sky drifting and floating the hover of defeat and then the sink and tumble quiet and gentle like a feather’s descent like a cloud into fog to land quiet and reserved and she rocks back and forth in her chair and I offer her nothing not even a word just the cooing just the— Hush now. Hush.—Even though there is nothing to hush and it is almost humorous watching her rocking her silent screams her mouth black and toothless an abyss a hole in a body a blooming orchid but it is not funny and I know that.

Logan Farmer is an accomplished singer-songwriter who performs and releases material under the name Tobacco Pat. He has also written numerous short stories and a novella, which was recently selected as semi-finalist in the 2010 William Faulkner - William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. He’s really proud of this. He currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida.