Side Oculus

Each hike to Tennessee Cove produced an exalted frisson upon sight of the natural arch we called the side oculus. Tunneled through a precipitous cliff, the aperture to the sky astonished us for more than a dozen years. Until it vanished.

Capricious earthquakes dismantled the ridge. Where seafoam licked sand, we craned our necks to peer up at the gaping wound oozing pebbles and stones. Dropped to our knees and mourned all that no longer existed, a whispered enumeration. All sacred spaces erode, she said, like memory or wonder. With silent hands, we coaxed large fallen rocks into a newborn arched cairn.

Rachel Prizant Kotok, addicted to constrained writing, writes letter-sequenced palindromic poetry, microfiction, flash, and short fiction. She was a finalist for Southwest Review’s Morton Marr Poetry Prize and the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Award for Poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tiferet Journal, Digital Paper, The Centifictionist, Hey, I’m Alive, and Wend Poetry. She teaches human rights-themed academic and creative writing in Northern California.

You can see more of her work in 8.3 and 8.3