Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
  • Home
  • About
  • Archive
  • Bio Notes
  • Bookshelf
  • Contents
  • Submit
Flash Fiction
300 words
SHJ Issue 10
Fall 2014

A Song of Cages

by Arya F. Jenkins

What you notice immediately are the spiked coils along the high walls and the metal doors that go on forever. Once you are in, you feel you are a prisoner too and question why you came. But you go on.

All for him.

All you think of is him, this man you have loved so long, the time you have put in is like a beach, its grains of sand escaping between your fingers.

And his.

After showing proof of who you are, you sit on a blue plastic chair in a small beige room filled mostly with other women waiting, like you.

The line is long, and the woman in front, required to remove metal from her bra, so you go first, placing your heels and keys on the conveyer belt.

You are thinking of the blue sky you will soon see and how it always makes you feel when you walk toward him—vast, empty and unfulfilled. How it makes you think of the stretch of time only he has counted—two years, 31 days, 14 hours.

All you have counted are breaths, alone at night with the pulse of absence.

You follow behind the man who was not asked to remove his turban, who removes it now as you walk the final cement pathway behind the guard. On either side of you is green expanse, and above, the sky.

The thing in the man’s hand that his turban had obscured is nothing you have ever seen up close, although you know what it is, what it does, what it will probably do to you. In the distance, beyond the translucent window, you can almost see him, the man you love. But now there is this thing between you and the waiting sky.


SHJ Issue 10
Fall 2014

Arya F. Jenkins

Poet and writer whose work has appeared in Agave Magazine, The Feminist Wire, Dirty Chai Magazine, Gambling the Aisle, and Brilliant Corners, among others. Her poetry and essays also appear in three anthologies, and her Buddhist poetry chapbook Jewel Fire was published by AllBook Books. She was recently commissioned by Jerry Jazz Musician to write jazz fiction.

Ms. Jenkins blogs at writersnreaders and Bebop Times.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury