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.
WALKING ON WATER (MAYBE BAREFOOT SKIING), ASHEVILLE NC
ZAP SHACK SELFIE TRIPTYCH
Recently shown in the Artbomb Studios Spring Exhibition. I tried to take a photo each day I was at the Cancer Institute for treatments. These are three of 31 or so. I lost count of days, treatments, and photos along the way.
PLAYIN' OLD SCHOOL
A PLANK IN MY OWN EYE
Missing the peacefulness of this place
If you asked about my Aunt Dorcas
I’d tell you she died yesterday.
I’d tell you
she buried two husbands:
one, a drunk bastard
one, a name she already wore
so then it doubled.
Thin as a kitchen match
Bright as the end of that hot-boxed Pall Mall
Sharp as the hook she baited
(squatting in tall grass
skeeters on her chin)
I’d tell you she cashed out
hid her money
in the safe at the funeral home
so she could live in hell for free
and I’d tell you
we shared some blood
and her name was biblical
but she wasn’t
even though she got popped on the foot
by a ball of lightning
skipping fast as “My Lou”
across the church parking lot
as she folded her double-name-causing second husband
and his oxygen tank
into that smoky sedan
She laughed at that devil
crock pot at home on low
fear now on high
turned to stone on hot, after-church asphalt
Later I’d tell you
how I squandered my last chance
to learn more of her little brother
my long-gone father
My brother’s Velveteen Rabbit from 1959–2014. His right ear still jingles.
REBUILDING IN VERMONT
I am currently swaddled in the great privilege of being in the Green Mountains of Vermont for a few weeks. It is much-needed time for rebuilding physical and emotional strength after the past two years of jagged loss. The spot in the photo below is where I hang out to think, read, write, daydream, and nap most every afternoon after mornings full of walking with my favorite Mona D. and hikes after breakfast.
I will never forget the moment your heart stopped and mine kept beating.