Thursday, October 9, 2014


On that particular day
I got off the airplane
absolutely exhausted
my head swimming from
passing the sun

Nothing right
2:00 p.m. should be 6:00 a.m.
The haunted house
of parking lot and elevator
By the door
his name in black magic marker
Connoting something other
than him

I walked into his room
I saw him
I looked through his disfigured face
my father
into his terrible open eyes
They rolled around in his head
He thrashed against his
My presence, irrelevant
I saw what insanity
must look like

He was so very far away
in a place
a broken neck
a broken back
a head injury
a crushed leg
a crushed arm
a head injury
a swollen damaged everything
can put you in

As the respirator
sucked in and spit out perfect time
as my eyes made the news
unreal reality
I fought to breathe
wincing and gasping
the disinfected smell of near-death
No form of hysteria
could unleash it

I needed to touch
what was so much less
than human
Fingernails sunk deep
into that huge swollen bear claw
Moisture seeping out
of that nearly exploding memory
of a hand

I swallowed back the vomit
as my legs
ran for the door
Water flowing
from my eyes and nose
coughing and lurching
I made it to the lawn
and watched the thin green blades
of grass
fall over
with the weight
of my grief

I couldn’t find him
Even the smartest people
didn’t know where he was
His name became
that broken chamber
that discolored misshapen cavity
inside of which echoed
a father teasing his daughter
And I prayed
that death
would set us both free

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