Even the Wind and the Waves Obey Him

Jamie Burke

Goldener Bilderrahmen - gold picture frame
Photo Credit: Eric W├╝stenhagen

He told me once that Rembrandt painted himself there with Jesus on the boat in the Sea of Galilee so I went to see it, or where it used to be. The empty frame hung on the wall and it reminded me of someone in a coat too thin for the winter or a child pushing her tongue out from the space where she’s lost a tooth. It looked sad, but hopeful I guess, and I thought about when he tells me to meet him somewhere and he’s late and every person that passes could be him so I look up but they’re not him. It’s just waiting, you know, because the painting has to be someplace, taken, and we just don’t know where. He called me later and I asked him what he thought of it, where he thought it might be, because I wondered what you do with a thing like that when everyone knows it’s stolen. He suddenly got real quiet on the phone and he didn’t say why but I figured his wife just walked in and he had to get off the line real fast. He has two kids, you know, and they’re young I guess though I’ve only seen their pictures. He says that’s how it’s got to be between us, that he can’t take me to the museum now. But, he said, he’s been before and I start wondering if we’ll ever go together and maybe that painting will be there, maybe somebody will have found it by then.


Jamie Burke is a graduate student at Emerson College, pursuing her MFA in Fiction. Her writing has been published in Pachinko!, Postcard Shorts, and BURN Magazine and her story “7-11” was a finalist in the 2013 Lascaux Flash Contest. She has a cat and hopes she will soon fulfill her lifelong dream to appear as a contestant on The Price is Right. Jamie cannot tell you what her shirt idea is because it is really good and she fears you will steal it. You’ll just have to see. Email: jmeburke[at]gmail.com

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