KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 11: Spring 2019
Ekphrastic Prose Poem: 299 words

Fresh Strawberries

by Lorette C. Luzajic
—After Untitled, Ca. 1949 [Green, Red, Yellow] by Mark Rothko

The clouds sling so low to the earth that you climb into them. Each morning, you take an espresso from the OXXO at the foot of the mountain, perch on the slate slabs outside of the museum to watch the world awaken. Today there is a hound tearing a plastic bag spilling rice and putrid meat grill; there is a young man with a llama, scars crisscrossing his left cheek and down that same side. You have a basket of sweet and juicy strawberries. It’s harder to find wine; a glass costs as much as a whole night at the hostel in La Candelaria. But so what? When your server asks vino tinto or vino blanco, you pick one. In the yellow cathedral, you seek shelter at dusk from cold rain. Young men protect your prayer with machine guns. You drop pesos into the tin box, buy a match flare to light a candle for your father. Now sit down and don’t get all excited, he’d said when he called to tell you they’d found a tumour strangling his right kidney. I’ll be fine, he’d said, calm and easy as always. You petition Her for everything, kneeling before Our Lady of Bogota, not because you believe, but because there’s no one left to ask. You want the whole mountain, the soil and the sand, the oceans. You want gold hills and heaps of emeralds running through your green glass veins. You want to unearth your grief, digging under that sunny day and green grass to unbury him. But Dad, he was never too excitable, even when he called to say he was dying. He only ever asked for small mercies, like these, fresh strawberries and white wine.


Publisher’s Note:

Untitled, Ca. 1949 [Green, Red, Yellow] by Mark Rothko at McGraw Graphics and AllPosters


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