Melanie Rae Thon

 

The Good Samaritan Speaks:

 

Why do you call me good?  Everything is good: me, you, the boy waving the gun: I hear him now, crying in the arroyo: I saw the car rolled and tried to help, but the boy with the gun was afraid and fired: the rattlesnake is good, the saguaro, the rabbit: the blood of strangers sings in my veins: they know not what they do: I hear the voices of multitudes: lava, gneiss, quartz, granite: sand that becomes stone that becomes sand: all that is through time: a song vibrating in bone long after notes vanish: vertebrae, fibula, clavicle, sacrum: black holes humming in space, fourteen billion years of sound, a universe of song, all that is, before and after: the gray fox climbs trees, the bighorn sheep sees two miles: who among us is not good: what being not holy: scorpion, wasp, catclaw, cholla: the vulture finds the dead and purifies the world: poppy, lupine, iris, lily: who do you not love: what being is unworthy?  The problem bear is good: she walks with me across the desert: the agave fruits once and dies, its seed exploding in the world: heart, hand, eye, pelvis: which part do you not need: thunder, rain, river, lightning: who here is not perfect: at dusk, white-winged doves circle, looking for water, a reflection of sky on earth: blue is good, so good: God, a fallen cloud: we have never been this thirsty.

                                                                                     

 

Melanie Rae Thon's most recent books are the novel  The Voice of the River  and  In This Light: New and Selected Stories.  She is also the author of the novels  Sweet HeartsMeteors in August,  and Iona Moon,  and the story collections  First, Body  and  Girls in the GrassSilence & Song,  lyric fictions, is forthcoming in September 2015.  Thon’s work has been included in  Best American Short Stories  (1995, 1996),  three  Pushcart Prize Anthologies  (2003, 2006, 2008),  and  O. Henry Prize Stories  (2006).  Originally from Montana, Melanie now lives in Salt Lake City, where she teaches in the Creative Writing and Environmental Humanities programs at the University of Utah.