How To Carry Countries Inside You

The afternoon that a bolt of lightning struck a tree on St. Edmonds, Josephina signed over her Italian citizenship. While officially American on paper, when she stepped out of the cab blocks from her Brooklyn apartment and smelled burning wood, she was of Portici, her father’s fig tree overhanging her family’s kitchen steps. She remembered how the figs would rot, fall, burst on gravel. Amethyst split in two, byzantium hemming in laurel like fresh wood. At dusk, she watched wasps curl inside the chalky flowers and give their wings in payment. Let the tree swallow them whole to live again. 

This story won second prize in the June 2023 monthly micro fiction competition.

About the author: Salena Casha’s work has appeared in over 100 publications in the last decade. Her most recent work can be found with Flash Frog and Ghost Parachute. She survives New England winters on good beer and black coffee. Follow her on twitter @salaylay_c