That’s our mother, our little, lovely old mother, who’s burning there, don’t you see? She’s lit herself for a good reason and now she’s already burnt half down, soon nothing will remain of her—not a bone, not a hair, not a nail—and we’ll have to poke around in the ash for her ancestral ring with the ruby, but we won’t find it, and thinking that nothing remains of her in this world we’ll go home where we notice that she left her stories lined up on the window sill (next to a forget-me-not) like little trophies of contests she had with herself. With her gone, the house will be blazingly empty and we will look at our birthmarks, trying to remember anything worth remembering across the battleground of time, anything worth anything before the beginning of this great war.

#47. First published at fwriction:review (2011). Photo:  self-immolation of Thích Quảng Đức, during which he kept perfectly still. Pulitzer-prize-winning photograph by Malcolm Browne.

Posted at 10:14am and tagged with: lit, Thích Quảng Đức, Vietnam, Pulitzer, Malcolm Browne, fwriction:review, mother, burning, speh, lit,.