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Nighttime thinking

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"The difference between lie and lay. Lay is always passive."

Atwood, The Handmaids Tale.

 

When it’s quiet at night she can hear the car that hit her brother
sometimes he creeps into her room at night
They squeeze onto the single bed that’s situated in the middle of her bare-room
staring at the peeling ceiling by moonlight outside the window
sometimes they speak
other times she just lie there
Listening
to him breathing
deeply
hearing
his long eyelashes fluttering like a raven
over dark choppy waters.

And after a while, like clockwork, his breath slows
his shirt stops brushing against his chest
and he blends into the dark as if he wasn't there at all
Then
All the memories rush forward suddenly, like the car that killed him
and lifted him into the air
the wind that carried him carefully
and the concrete pavement that waited beneath
She can see mother kneeling over him
Oh, how she looked up at the sky
Her hands below trying to touch
but not touch the blood.

She remembers how he just lay there
deep his blood was
And how it carpeted the street, Oh how she wanted to be close to him
his sleeping body
the shock, like a magic trick
Her mind demanding to believe that it's all fake...
the painful silence that followed
the feeling emptiness that nighttimes replace.

sometimes she thinks about it
what if she didn’t go out to play that day
the endless warnings from mother to just read a book or something
other times she just lie there.

He visits her at night sometimes.
but he then he always goes
out onto the street again, through space and up into Heaven
past the Hell he’s left behind.






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