Today I learned that a two-inch-long piece of Scotch tape is capable of knocking the wind out of a full-grown orphan. Bittersweet surprise.
This road, this sky, these errands kept me going last summer while my mother was dying. Just a two-lane road off the highway, it was the route I took to pick up the medications that hospice ordered for her. For the last two months of her life, I would stop the car, get out, take a photo with my phone each time the sky said HOPE.
07/100 I was six and digging a hole at the beach when I unearthed the top part of a pair of dentures. Holding them was not so much the horror as was my worry, for days, about the one who could not eat popcorn or whistle his dog home.
I saw Lynda Carter once,
(before she was Wonder Woman)
riding in the lead car
in the Dothan, Alabama
Dothan was full
I tried to make Believers
of my creek-caught tadpoles,
saying to every damn one
I baptize you
in the name of
and The Holy Spirit.
as i caught and moved them
(cupped in a creek-water-wrinkled paw)
from one Cool-Whip bowl of muddy water
But back to Lynda Carter
and how she rolled through that town
of lost tadpoles,
their small muddy evangelist
for one moment
that she was
TO THE FIVE OF THEM. THE FIVE OF YOU.
by Meghan O'Rourke
Even now I can’t grasp “nothing” or “never.”
They’re unholdable, unglobable, no map to nothing.
Never? Never ever again to see you?
An error, I aver. You’re never nothing,
because nothing’s not a thing.
I know death is absolute, forever,
the guillotine-gutting-never to which we never say goodbye.
But even as I think “forever” it goes “ever”
and “ever” and “ever.” Ever after.
I’m a thing that keeps on thinking. So I never see you
is not a thing or think my mouth can ever. Aver:
You’re not “nothing.” But neither are you something.
Will I ever really get never?
You’re gone. Nothing, never—ever.