Nuwara Eliya

We almost ask each other questions. Is there a curfew? At what time? Do we need to run? Do we want to? How many dogs make up a pack? How many smoking men make up a crowd? Is the pack dangerous? Sinister? Broken? Sad? What about the crowd? Why do the smoking men smell like fish? Why do they wear sarongs even when it’s cold? Why are they awake when everyone is asleep? Why is the cool air so tender upon my neck? When they yell out do we cross the street? Do we still look back over our shoulders and gently wave? Do we say hello? Do we bow? How do we say hello in Sinhala? Ayubowan. What do we say then?


Dinner is braised rabbit with fennel and mustard. The rabbit meat, Dad says, reminds him of Iowa in the winter. He removes his glasses and asks me to help him tell a story about a rabbit in Iowa snow. Is the rabbit pretty? I ask. Is his hair hapless? Stiff? Is there snow caught in his tiny eye? Do we cut off his feet to carry in our pockets? Like he is all ours? The rabbit looks like death, Dad says. The rabbit is just a metaphor, I say. No, Dad says, you’re wrong. The rabbit is just a rabbit.

by Dylan Fisher

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