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Part I and Part II MAG
... She is suddenly old:
a worn teddy bear with stuffing spilling from unravelling seams,
a balloonwoman who pops and deflates at the mention of his name.
Sobs of agony can only describe the foreign sound:
Crying inthe house that magnifies her grief, that trembles and threatens to fall out ofthe sky like the death rain that extinguished his life.
" ... mybaby boy ..."
It would be a sin to breathe.
Laughterslinks through the cracks in the floor ashamed it once danced off these echoingwalls.
" ... we loved him together ... "
They collapseinto her white hair, like a cotton halo it lies so frail on his chest cradlingher head suddenly too heavy to lift.
" ... I want back my Rob, myjoyful Rob, he was so full of life ... "
We look/listen in horror.Yes, this is reality, thinking Mary shouldn't be hearing this. Thisrequiem in the key of despair contrasted with our selfish tears: I'm not invited
to Melanie's party Mommy I want that toy I don't want to eat my peas!That is not crying.
This is crying:
" ... my son, wehave to find him, we have to find him ... "
The thermostat justdropped 100 degrees C. Fear has frozen life, uninvited guest that makesme afraid of the dark again. The monsters have returned to my closet and I feelthem scratching under my bed. I will not sleep tonight ...
Part II -For Rob
8:40, Thursday, October 11th. The clock has wrapped its handsaround my eyes, choking them with winter frost, squeezing out the life. Amonth ago you didn't realize
that you had eight minutes left to live.
I see snakes on the wall. Medusa in black andwhite, with time writhing in her hair. Tremors: I am dancing with deathto the tick of the second hand.
"And what does g stand for?"
Oh, oh, I know! "9.8 m/s2, the acceleration of gravity."
You fellout of the sky fasterfaster ...
I can't watch your fateunfold in mathematical form. Those numbers never knew you. My face turns,twists into a perfect picture of pain. When will it shatter and revealthe black hole I've been trying to conceal? It is inevitable: there is nohope to fill it with.
I walk out the door, down the hall. I am lateas usual:
It is already 8:48:32.
I forget the snakes as I hear my voiceecho off the cinder-block halls. My own voice: it is so foreign. It islike this, waking up from a nightmare, realizing that you are stillalive, not sure that you want to be. You were taken, but we were all left behind.It is time I cannot fight. Time dries the tears I do not wipe away. Timeleaves the salty trails that stiffen my cheeks even as the color returnsto them. Time makes us wait for the sun to rise. Time makes us forget
"Let us remember"
" ... a moment of silence ... "
Fifteen silent seconds: that is all we are given? And it is I who must count:
1, 2, 3, 4 ...
I concentrate on the numbers, not able to think of youonce.
I know now
I know the cruelest aspect of life.
It goes on.
It goes on.