Tyler Enfield



GALUNGAN



When the storm blows out the window, I see the whole plate of it, for an instant, balance upon the sill before tipping. It crashes over your face in bed. You yell. The glass shatters across your face and you yell in bed because this is real. This is happening. The bone of your shoulder. Its wet white grin. Donít move. Do not move.

You do not move. You do not cry.

Do not move. Whatever you do, do not move.

You do not move and Leala lifts shards, entire shapes of glass, red, from your dress. Your pillow. Around you on the bed. You do not cry. You look only. You look into our eyes and everything is there. You do not cry. You are nine years old and you look into our eyes and you do not blink and you do not tremble. You do not cry.

I pick you up. A towel comes into my hand. The towel goes to your shoulder but it comes right through. It is not enough. Another towel. Someone, we need another towel. To the wrong of bone, your thumb is open. Your chin is open. Your arms are open and your chest and you take me into your eyes to lay me down in the place where you look at me, and I lay you down on our bed.

The lights are flashing. The roof is leaking. The fan goes off and on. The storm blows out the window and comes into our room and the fan is stumbling and we need a towel. Someone please give me a towel.

Elise goes for the doctor. There is no doctor. Wayan goes for a doctor. There is no doctor. There is no doctor during Galungan. There is no doctor in Indonesia. The doctors are gone. They are celebrating Galungan, the day when light overcomes dark. The day the demon Rangda is defeated by Barong and the islands are brought into harmony. There is no doctor in this room, so we will go to a room with a doctor.

The storm in the room, it is outside on our faces. Puddles crash at my legs. The world is water and we are walking on water. In my arms you keep us afloat. I have you. Donít worry, I have you. We pause at the stairs. You look at me. You know that I have you. You look at me knowing I wonít let you go and you say moment of truth. Nine years old. You look at me with everything between us and everything there and you say moment of truth. Rain runs pink through my hands. Out in the courtyard the van is boiling. Rain sizzles and steams. Then around us, and all around us like birds are hands, they flutter and nudge. A hundred wings shove us inside. The door is slammed shut and Wayan guns the engine. He is fast.

He does not talk. He honks his horn, but he does not talk. He leans over the wheel, his mouth in his eyes. He passes everything. He passes everything. There are drums in the street and Wayan drives around. Temple dancers have stopped traffic and Wayan drives around. Light and dark are grappling in the street and Wayan flies over like a storm with Barong on its back, the lightning in your teeth and hands.

Wayan stops the van and throws the door. He makes sounds with his mouth. The faces are waiting. The masks are waiting. The table is silent and waiting for you, a throne for you, a lotus. I lay you down. They put bright in your face. I lay you down and they talk all at once. I lay you down and they glitter and shine in their sterile dishes of liquid. You know this is real. The doctor does what he does. Your mouth opens wide. Your teeth. Your eyes.

*


When the storm has passed, you touch at the places. You say you canít believe this was real. The glass is gone. The blood is gone. Galungan was a storm, come alive in a girl. The people hang flowers in the street.







Tyler Enfield is the author of the award-winning children's novel: Wrush. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Best Canadian Poetry 2009, Grain, Drunken Boat, Florida Review, Nashwaak Review, and elsewhere. He can be found at www.TheSecretWorlds.com and www.TheTinderbox.ca.







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