My mother’s sadness—diaphanous, which, to me, was like the rolled prayer shawl held overhead, one’s toe breaking the shallows, stepping where cardinal fire bloomed dark on the whetstones. Give heed to the shots of fire crackling behind her; hope the gears don’t slick in the river’s current.


Darius Atefat-Peckham is an Iranian-American essayist and poet. He currently lives in Huntington, West Virginia. His work is an attempt to understand and explore his lost heritage, his unusual family history, and his late mother and brother, who he was never given the chance to remember. His poetry has recently been published or is forthcoming in The MacGuffin and Jelly Bucket.