Emily Kiernan is the author of a novel, Great Divide (Unsolicited Press, 2014). She writes about islands, vaudeville, implacable but unjustified feelings of abandonment, the West, and places that aren’t the way she remembered them. Emily is a graduate of the MFA writing program at the California Institute of the Arts. Her short fiction has appeared in Pank, The Collagist, Monkeybicycle, decomP, The Good Men Project, Dark Sky, Redivider, JMWW, and other journals. Her work has received mentions and awards from Unstuck Magazine, A Room of Her Own Foundation, Wigleaf Magazine, and others. She resides in Berkeley, California with her man and her dog.
In the belly of the dark the bomb is dreaming. The bomb is dreaming about a woman in a brown dress. The bomb imagines her in fits and starts. It imagines her falling into rhythm with the fits and starts of the darkness that surrounds it, which is sometimes pierced with light. The darkness is jostled and pierced in a light rhythm. The jostling rolls the bomb lightly—but only lightly—against the mechanisms that hold it. As it rolls and jostles, the bomb imagines the woman in the brown dress singing out a little rhythm. She is singing out a little song, as if to soothe it, and it is soothed, rocking so very lightly in the mechanisms that hold it. The bomb does not know the woman who is singing, as it does not know anyone, least of all the men who built its mechanisms. The bomb does not know sorrow, but the look on the woman’s face is sorrow as she is singing, and the song is a sorrowful song about the little body that will not be soothed. The woman’s voice is rising and rising, never failing. In the woman’s face is sorrow about the men who built the mechanisms that hold her from her rising, and who built the unsoothable body she holds, unfailing. The bomb does not know that it is dreaming as it imagines rising up from the mechanisms. It knows the singing face of the woman, and where there were mechanisms there is a screaming, unsoothable body rising up and up and up. The bomb is rising up, and the woman’s face is looking up, away, and they are light and rising. In the jostling, rolling dark, they have never dreamt of falling.