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Published: Sun Oct 1 2023
Eva Lin Fahey, The Deep Blue Sea (detail), 2022, watercolor on paper
Online 2023 Mysteries Journeys Youth

I want to look at the world the way my son looks at his hands: bright and full of wonder. How he finds every piece of fluff tucked under the carpet corners and each dirty coin fallen from a pocket before bringing it directly to his mouth. I watch him test the limits of his body, balancing first on his belly, then dragging on forearms before lifting to hands and knees. Oh, movement: the first sweet taste of autonomy. As he lifts his arms upward, steadies and straightens his legs, thick trunks of the softest tree, he screeches in delight, pure triumph glowing in his cheeks.

Meanwhile, a ballroom in Monterey Park. Meanwhile, a farm in Half Moon Bay. An elementary school in Uvalde. A movie theater in Aurora. An Orlando nightclub. A Charleston church. An Atlanta spa. Mother’s Day in New Orleans, a Sunday afternoon.

I used to ride my bicycle without a helmet, drink carelessly with strangers, go to the movies alone and forget myself in the dark. Today, I’m still astonished and afraid.


Next up in the portfolio: “Octopoda Is the Scientific Name of the Octopus” by Greg Santos

“I live out my life in the widening coils”
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated from the German by David Keplinger
Online 2023 Mysteries Spirituality Journeys
Recipe for Conception
Online 2023 Family Mysteries Journeys

Tiana Nobile 문영신, a Korean American adoptee, is the author of Cleave (Hub City Press, 2021). Her writing has appeared in Poetry Northwest, The New Republic, Guernica, AGNI, Southern Cultures, and elsewhere. She is a Kundiman fellow and the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. A founding member of The Starlings Collective, she lives with her family in New Orleans, Louisiana. www.tiananobile.com (updated 10/2023)

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