A new book of essays by faculty member Adria Bernardi, Dead Meander, is forthcoming from Kore Press.

An excerpt from the essay, “Alba: Fragments for an Elegy:”

“To split ourselves further. I turn so readily to say this in another tongue. Strappare. Spaccare. Staccare.

Which is to say, To tear, To split, To detach, in the original, common tongue, although both sides now need a dictionary to say it.

I have told myself, First, before I write an elegy, the research. There is the question of your name.

Already one year has passed.

Alba means white. Also bright, light. Dawn. A type of flower. A type of song or a poem.

This morning, on waking, I move like a sleepwalker, going through the morning motions. The water boils and the whistle cries. I walk over to the stove, turn off the heat.

Then, as I reach to the canister for a teabag to put into the cup, I hear your voice, sing-song, say, Du thé?

I look for another word, a single word, that means rejoining, reunion, reassembly.

I look for this word, even though I was never separated by the sea. Still, it seems someone is always missing.

There is a black and white photograph. It is eighteen inches long, ten inches high.

There are three separate groupings.

A husband, a wife, and a girl with straight bangs and an enormous bow that is tilted just off to the side of her head.

A husband, a wife, and a baby boy with tremendous cheeks.

A husband, a wife.

At first glance, the elements seem unified. But why the distance between the groups? Why the separate sittings? Why the mist between them? I look again. The sizes of the heads vary too greatly. The bodies are in different scale, three photographs have been pieced together.”

More information about the book can be found on the Kore Press website.


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