[Fiction] A couple returns home from Israel:
It’s six-thirty now and the boys are back in bed; it’s early afternoon Israel time. For the moment, Noelle feels as if she’s in a bubble, lying awake next to Amram while the children are asleep. She presses her ear to the wall to see if her sisters are awake; it’s been a fitful night for them too.
She rolls over onto her stomach and back again. She wonders what she looks like from up on the ceiling, lying sleepless in her childhood bed. This is where she spent summer after summer. And Christmas vacation and spring break. Amram, who has risen, is in a T-shirt and cutoff jeans, his thighs thick as ham hocks, his prayer fringes sticking out from under his shirt, twisted as always around his belt loops. His yarmulke, blown by the breeze coming through the open window, flips over itself so that it’s barely hanging from a few tendrils of hair; it droops to the side like a single earmuff.
“The World Without You.” — Joshua Henkin, Guernica Magazine