At first her words were flat and weak.
Later in the night a sound like drowning
rose up from her depths
Wave after wave from a sea of loss.
And then once, her lips trembled and a whisper came,
“I know why he came,” she said,
"He came to save my life."
And then from an even smaller place,
"I just don’t know why he left."
He was only 24.
She told of the moment of his conception when she knew she was pregnant. How it was in an instant and how she felt filled with warmth and light inside her womb. And then when he died, how she stood in her mother’s garden and felt that same light and warmth in her chest--her heart and how Olivia said she was his light-bearer
Pictures later showed her two children
wrapped in blankets or being superheros together
or smiling with flower pots on their heads
The raising of boys I thought
The rising of a son
One day she unwrapped
bobbles of brightly colored blown glass
that he had created and she had found in his house.
They shown-- dappled in sunlight on her newly cleaned porch.
But she outshined the glass.
I marveled at her.
The dancing hands.
How they would glide from piece to piece.
The serenity that had washed over her face.
The evenness of her lips.
That day she brought out his clothes
and breathed them in
Like she was taking in some drug
Pulling him into her lungs
Even if he killed her there--his clothes could still carry the virus that ended him
“I will never smell him again,” she said.
Placid. Steady. Sure.
“Some things are worth dying for.”
From the kitchen then,
We heard a piece he had made and let me have
(for a price)
to the ground.
I took it as a message to me
that he didn’t want me to have it
or that he didn’t want me there.
But now I think it was a command.
"Watch my mother!
Keep her safe.
This is killing her.
DON’T LET IT!"