thank you card

This was written 60 years ago.


At dawn when the dew has built its tents
on the grass, will you come to my grave
and sprinkle bread crumbs
from an enchanted kitchen?

Will you remember me down there
with my eyes shattered
and my ears broken
and my tongue turned to shadows? 

Will you remember that I went to the graves
of many people and always knew I was buried

And afterwards as I walked home to where
it was warm, I did not kid myself about
a God-damn thing. 

Will you remember that one day
I went to your grave and you had been dead
for many years, and no one thought
about you any more,
except me? 

Will you remember that we are fragile gifts
from a star, and we break? 

Will you remember that we are pain
waiting to scream, holes
waiting to be dug, and
tears waiting to

And will you remember that after you have gone
from my grave, birds will come
and eat the bread? 


How many pillows could you stack high enough to pretend to shelter from the storm of an election cyclone; how far would you need to jump from chair to table to span the lahar of current events? We are taught to use our imagination as children, but no one teaches how to lie properly, even though it could very well be the most useful skill to navigate adulthood, save for maybe personal finance. When you ask someone how they've been, the answer is almost always fine, and there's no way that's true.

 Nuances. It's hard to be embarrassed anymore about what I don't know or who I might have been a decade ago. My eyes are too heavy to roll. After mentioning that I have a kid in college, someone remarked how young I look, and asked my age, and I said it's a bit of gray area. I'm closer to 60 than I am to 20, but I'm also closer to 60 than I am to 70, and that's not comforting at all, where the hell was I going with this?

It could be I'm looking forward to loss of hearing. Does that equally affect the sounds in your head? Suddenly remembering some awful thing you said. Your parents fighting. Lately, I cannot block out the cry of a coyote I shot, it just visits me at any given moment. The poor, goddamn duck I saved lingered for three days and expired, inviting a winter storm that sent us home early, so I could think about what I'd done, already exhausted from a long drive the night before that has me pulled back out to sea. Or maybe it's loss of sight I'm looking forward to, ha ha. 

I am anonymous now, for the most part. There is nothing remarkable about my name or how I look or my social station or accomplishments; I have successfully achieved mid-life equilibrium. Little pieces fall off here and there, but nothing that cannot be stitched, fused or modified. This month was a fragile gift.


Kristiana said…
So much so, a fragile gift. I'm not even sure I want to say I survived.

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