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I took my leave because there’s nothing left to do. I thought I’d be more upset, saying goodbye for the last time and knowing it was finally, truly the last time. She moaned in agony. I patted her shoulder and left. I mumbled “I love you” on the way out.

I thought
I’ll be glad when she’s dead.

The guilty thoughts—wishing my aunt dead, not paying enough attention to her, not caring enough, thinking her a chore—I take them out of context so that I suffer more. So that I’ll suffer longer. Because she’s dead after all and I’m not. I tell myself that I wished her dead, as if I wished her dead in a vacuum. The context is she was dying. The context is she suffered and I wanted it to end. The context is I was selfish, but most people are. The context is my thoughts and reactions were completely understandable for a caregiver over the long haul. Death sucks, you do what you can.

The context is
she had cancer,
motherfucking, no-cure cancer.

The context is
I wished her dead, yes,
but. the thought. did. not. kill. her.

Just yesterday, I was struggling to come up with something to blog about. My Aunt Celia died early this morning.

Between Birth and Decay

My aunt had cancer.
Actually, she still does.
It’s just rotting with her bones in an underground cavern.

Between birth and decay,
it’s the suffering that counts.
Malinger away.

Two other aunts have cancer now.
Don’t they deserve it, never coming to visit
never seeing the suffering until the end.

More endings coming forthwith.

 Miami

My ex-boyfriend had gone to Miami for four days in April.
I know because I drove him from the airport.

He went to a strip club.
He met and took pictures of girls he met there.
One night on the town, three pictures of these girls.
I know because one morning after he’d gone to work, I looked through the pictures on his camera.

Six months with me, not a one picture did he take.
I know because I was there.
I know because he’s so predictable.

I know because I drove him to the airport.

Bones

My dog had a bone
but no meat on it
not even much of a scent
where there should have been flavor and bite

My friend nodded
saying it’s a shame
puppies having puppies
but she didn’t know better

She just wanted a chance at a real bone
but she has the real thing now and I give her bacon-flavored bones everyday

See poeticgrin.com for the rules of this exercise.

Note: “Miami” and “Bones”  appear to have 11 lines; however, there is one line in each that is  too long for wordpress’s sensibilities.

I shelved my aunt the same day I was shelved by my lover. Admittedly, her dismissal was more traumatic of the two. Later, when I cried for myself, I cried for her, too. She’s not on my coffee table any more, at least, but she’s hovering. She’s not overbearing about it; my guilt is.

Meaning.

As far as my own shelving, I’m surprised that after the initial upset, I am feeling fine. Mind you, I still feel conflicted as it wasn’t an outright rejection but an honest sort of halfway rejection, which makes no sense but is true anyway. He’s not ready for the next step, you see. As consolation, he says he’s going to cook me dinner. He said I was beautiful when I told him I felt ugly. He said he was so sorry. He had the balls to stick around when I started crying. I’m not sure of the duration of my weeping spell, but I suppose it’s quality not quantity that matters.

Meaning.

I’ve been thinking of getting rid of my old books. It seems so blasphemous since I’m a writer. I feel as though I’m betraying some code that insists you have a responsibility to the book once you read its secrets. I feel as though if I can navigate the passage to letting go, I will have made some sort of real progress in my life.

Meaning I am tortured by meaning.

I didn’t put her away. I thought I would have. I thought I’d turned a corner.

For six weeks, an envelope with pictures of my dead aunt have been on my coffee table, waiting for me to do something with them. I have gotten teary-eyed just seeing the envelope. The last week has been especially difficult because I noticed that the pictures are halfway out of the envelope and the part I see is her exposed neck, her neck, the part that killed her. Or the cancer underneath. Whatever.

The pictures of her are when she was younger and healthier. Before she knew how she’d die or that the son (who was also in those pictures) would go before her.

I wrote her a letter before she died but didn’t get around to sending it. So I found it in my car, addressed and stamped, ready for her to read it. She’s not around to read it. She said she started a letter to me but couldn’t finish it because her hands were shaking so bad. I am sure the paper has been thrown away by now, but I’m haunted by what she may have said.

She told everyone I was her rock, but rocks don’t sob; they sit indifferent. And that I could never be.

The ache is always there but it gets better
It becomes bearable
It becomes livable

She meant the pain she felt for the loss of her son
Still her words come back to me
Because I remembered her today
I remembered when we breathed in the same room
Together
I remembered her pain and my own
I still feel her pain and my own

We will never again breathe in the same room
Together

I remembered her today
and I realized
again
how much I miss her

My mother gave me pictures of her
and her son
both dead

We all die sooner or later

No one comes into the world
thinking she will suffer a lingering, painful death
or that he will die of a ruptured ulcer

We all die quickly or slowly

We all die of trivial things
which is not supposed to happen
or so our rebellious minds wail

She gave me pictures
of a dead woman and her dead son
They are still in the envelope
what’s left of a dead woman and her son

Where to bury the bodies
Where to put the ashes

I’m back. I didn’t mean to be gone so long…I went to the beach time forgot and in the whole town, apparently there is one internet connection and all the damn kids were on it. 

Notes.

I owned the sun, bitches. And then I got a cold and now the Universe owns me and I’m its bitch.

I am seriously sad about Farrah Fawcett’s passing. Her struggle reminds me of my aunt. I especially resent the tabloids for saying she wanted to die when she was undergoing painful treatment that only had a small chance of working.  I resent the family member (another aunt) who said she would never put the family through what my deceased aunt put them through…meaning it’s not worth putting the family through a difficult time if you have only the smallest possibility to live. Fuck that. As I recall, my family didn’t allow themselves to be put out by her fight. They were no where to be found. Oh, anger, be gone.

I fell on a hard slab of concrete. My mother thought I had broken my arm and was traumatized. She made me bend it to show her it was not broken for THREE days. She’s a good mommy. She also has poofy hair.

Friends. I am from the American South. “I” is pronouced “ah,” God is pronounce “Gawd,” but I have to draw the line at “far” being pronounced “for” or “fore.” In this case, my daddy has become red-necked-ified (“it cain’t be too for”) and it drove me nuts.

I was minding my own business, wiping my nose with my hand, coughing into large groups of people, when a lady leaned over to my mother and said I probably had the swine flu.  

I can’t be around smoke, okay? I have allergies. (bindo, for you, I will allow mourners to smoke at your eulogy slam as an act of good faith.)

You do not have “a piece” of a soda left over. You may have a swig, a swallow (“swaller”), or a little bit left but never “a piece.” My parents didn’t get the memo, and I figured I might have been being * a little* prissy/pissy, so I kept this tidbit to myself…until now. You need to know this.

My parents baby me when I’m sick and I appreciate them for it.

As soon as we left the airport parking garage, the sky opened up and spat out a m-f of a storm on top of me.

I give Bryan props for saving my ass again. I had to ask him to Fed-Ex my cell. I cannot live without it. He did read some inappropriate texts between me and an unnamed suitor.

The freckles. My God, the freckles.

OMG, I met a new man on one of my flights to the beach. He was very friendly and I think he’s my new boyfriend! It’s so exciting. He was going to Afghanistan for the next 9 months. I have decided in lieu of adopting a dog or an Asian baby, I am going to adopt a military man. Fuck Airmen. I’m into Army guys now. (Also, my mother and father were staring at my bf and me the whole time. Later my mother said she couldn’t help but notice he had extremely white teeth.)

I thought Michael Jackson was really strange and not in a flattering way, but I do feel for his family, friends, and fans.  My mother says there is really no comparision to Elvis and she wishes they’d stop saying that there is. Rumors are just rumors. If narcotics were involved, I can understand the draw. Highly addictive and unfortunately satisfying.

And that poor Billy Mays.

Iraq is fucked up no matter who writes about it. Trying to gain perspective about the War on Terror.  I read a memoir about a soldier’s experience in Iraq. He definitely does not agree with the war or why we went or how we’ve conducted ourselves. Or how the government has treated soldiers. Just so you know, the author isn’t necessarily right wing, but this is definitely not a love letter to George W. Bush or Donald Rumsfeld. Gives another perspective (and I do appreciate the message that NOT questioning the government is unpatriotic). Try Chasing Ghosts by Paul Rieckhoff. He has a website for veterans, if you’re interested (http://iava.org/index.php). 

I missed you.

Your forever Medicated Lady

bored

not hurting anybody

scrolling through the numbers in my phone

 

I saw the name

had forgotten the name

already

was surprised it was there

in my phone

when she no longer is here

 on earth

 

I pressed delete before I could think

too much

time spent thinking

 

how long will it be before I recover my breath

I take a break from my guilt

A night of fun with my unrequited love

He’s unrequited but not really my love

I need him for much bigger things

Bob Seger’s voice haunts

Somewhere tonight someone’s thinking back to someone who got closer

 

I try hard to concentrate

this song is about me

this song is about my love life

this song is about my woe

 

Only I don’t believe myself

I believe in the tears I feel dripping from my chin

and the sound of my ugly cry noises

 

Someone’s not quite sad, only disbelieving

 

This is not about her

it is not about her

it’s not about her

She’s not being sung about

this song is not about her

except that it is

 

it’s a song about her absence

 

Somewhere tonight

any number of things are happening

but she isn’t

she’s not happening, she’s happened

SOB with me

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