By Lana Spendl
This piece first appeared in Storm Cellar (Issue 6.2)
For the first time in over twenty years my parents are back in our native Sarajevo. And they telephone. I imagine the cool rush of youth opening my dad’s chest, fast, too fast, and I want to wrap my arms around his neck to protect him from feeling. I am envious too. I am not there. My parents are excited and exhausted on speaker phone, they talk over each other. They stand in the Baščaršija Quarter. Fruit is so inexpensive, they say, a pound of plums for just a mark. They had sat in the street and eaten chestnut puree. Do I want them to bring me just a copper coffee pot or do I want filǆani as well? Might be better to get the whole set. I look at my office desk and wish I were there, among passersby, narrow streets, cobbles, rooftops close to ground, sagging but alive, alive with pigeons and people and tables in front of cafes. I long to see just one day. A whole day. Light changing into evening. That hour when behind buildings boys run with friends and yell things out and kick the ball with eyes on ground.