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There was a time when you mattered
The last bloom
On the Rose of Sharon

Of
The
Season
In which your spirit did not survive

Another fall
Falls near
As the sky
Or a petal from a poppy
Or a child of God

Did you really believe that?
That there was a time when it mattered
The way beauty fell away to reveal something more beautiful and terrible but toxic

But time
It mattered
Because it was yours
The lost blossom

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it’s one cave or the other

strata in the walls and ceiling

weathering makes a rich history

sediments of old, sediments of new

 

rock

step into the entrance

breeze out, breeze in

 

you think: this is cool

you think: this is bearable

you think: I can leave anytime I want

 

two months or two years

time’s all wrong

two months or two years

sentiment in, sentiment out

 

you think: this is about dirt

you think: this is about hurt

you think: sentiments of old, sentiments of new

 

rock

you are impossibly lost

 

your upturned eyes catch the light

you think: this is about dirt

dust drifting through the pinpricked shaft above

moon-kissed

you are moon-kissed

 

rock

she came on a Sunday

left on a Wednesday

it wasn’t like it was a special day

 

she liked leaves

and maybe be leaving too

come to think of it

 

when it’s time to go

let ‘er go

ears against the wind

flipped inside out

the way they should be

 

Postscript, if there is such a thing: My beloved beagle, Poppy, has been missing since last Wednesday. She had been playing and running, a delightful sight for a seven-year-old nap-centric dog who’d had cancer (twice!) on one of her legs and an affinity for eating foods deemed “The Most Fatal Foods For Dogs.”  The wind in her ears, mouth stretched into a smile, she ran toward me before psyching me out and turning the other way. She trotted off and that was the last I’ve seen of her.

The last words I’ll ever hear her speak are, “I’ve still got fight left in me.” Or maybe, “I don’t have no fight left in me.” I distinctly heard “fight left in me.”

I asked her how she was.  Dry: “I’m great.” Floated back into her morphine dreams or nightmares.

Later, when I was alone with her for a few moments, both of her hands in mine, I called her name. “Tywanua.” She opened her eyes. “Tywanua, I love you.” She was coherent enough to recognize me. “I love you, too.  I wish I could sit up a little more…but I’m just glad you’re here.”

 Atrocities of June 8, 2009

  • My aunt, who has terminal cancer, starts to rapidly decline as her body shuts down. There is concern she won’t make it through the night but the extra morphine improves her breathing and makes her more comfortable.
  • I see this otherworldly tumor on the side of her neck that makes me cringe and I’m glad my aunt is sleeping mostly. Not to be funny, but to give a visual: familiar with Coneheads on SNL? It’s like one of those heads is trying to grow out of the side of her neck. Ball your fists up, press them against the left side of your neck, and you can see how big that thing is. It’s like from a horror movie. Where the skin has been stretched to the limit and has cracked, she has bled. The whole top part has dark purple scabs and I’m sure some of that skin is black because it’s dead.
  • My family aren’t much of hand holders, but I know she likes to have her hand held so I try to model it for my family so that they can see the comfort it can give. Now, she’s hearing that she is loved and that’s all she (or any of us) has ever wanted.
  • My piece-of-the-most-unholiest-shit ex-uncle is a jealous, selfish coward. An obnoxious alcoholic, he keeps yelling at her, “you want something to eat, you want something eat?” I want to scream: She’s a little too busy with the business of breathing to eat. Besides, food will only prolong it now. Also, he apparently tries to have sex with her, while another aunt is in the same room, trying to sleep.
  • There’s too many people all around, wanting to desperately help her or those around her. The weariness of us all is heavy on the heart, and it’s the kind of heaviness that one can’t lose by going on a diet. It’s there for good.
  • I say goodbye to her and leave without a sob.
  • If not today,  June 9 or June 10, 2009 will be the day she dies. Maybe planning a death really is like planning a marriage. You concern yourself with the flowers and the weather.
  • Past and present tenses. She will die, but after that?  Will I say I had an aunt who died?  That tends to be the traditional form of reference. Or I have an aunt who died? Because is she still my aunt once she’s dead?  Will I ever be able to say I  lost an aunt or will it always be I am losing an aunt? I can’t go find her at the lost and found; she’s not a lost item or a lost person. Losing is active and implies infinity.

SOB with me

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