Aimee Baker

Writer | Lecturer

Fiction



9780292721227“The Persistence of Memory.” Best of the West 2009 anthology.

 

 

 

20_2_cover_web“The Persistence of Memory.” Gulf Coast.

Excerpt: “On the day before the locusts came, Lavinia’s daughter died alone in the back room. Lavinia had been heating water, hoping a bath would remove the cherry red stain covering Cecilia’s cheeks, arms, and chest. Leaving the water to finish warming, Lavinia went to the small bed where she and her husband slept until Cecilia became sick in that sudden way that made Lavinia hold her breath and pray at night for something she could not name. The room that used to smell like wüd grass and lavender sachet began to smell like onions and burnt sugar a week into Cecilia’s illness. Lavinia did not want to hold her breath, did not want to admit she found something about her daughter distasteful, but she could not help it. She moved quickly, not wasting movement, not a breath inside the airless room. Before Lavinia reached the bed she knew. Cecilia’s skin was parched, the color of cemetery stones, her hand loose, hanging from the bed. Lavinia let out the air in her lungs and breathed in the scent of her daughter, thick and cloying, before leaving. She took the pot of water off the fire, sloshing it on the floor all the way through the house to the front door and outside where she dumped the scalding water on one of the tomato plants.”

 

“A Natural History.” The Southeast Review. (Pushcart Prize Nominee)

Excerpt: “Yellow ochre. Sienna. A hint of blue-grey. Lightly, Maria, lightly, he says. Guides my hand across the page. His presence, the press of his callused hand against my own, makes me clumsy. I press too heavily. A dainty branch, at the juncture it narrows, becomes heavy, lumbering. A crooked spine. His hand leaves mine. He cleans his brushes.”

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