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Fragments

fragments

I am listening to How He Loves and I am thinking of the evening we sat in the house and sang these words and listened to the helicopters fly by and to the children playing in the street. I am thinking of how I thought, He is here in the war and in the darkness. I am thinking of the warm glow of the room and how we didn’t know there was a scorpion in the cushions until later.

I am thinking about all the goodbyes and with each the wondering, the wondering if this

I am thinking about the grief for things not yet experienced and the time I drove home from Atlanta and sobbed because she is my sister and I love her and

I am thinking about the moment that was not so much a punch to the gut as a scraped-hollow emptiness when I first saw the text and

I am thinking about the tightening in my chest like the breath’s been pummeled out and

I am thinking my heart is a pin cushion with infinite room for pins as I relearn and relearn how close

I am thinking of wrong doors and window glaze and how truly awful news pictures are when one of the people is

I am thinking I can see her but I can’t touch her or protect her and

I am thinking I am so small and

I am thinking she’s my sister she’s my sister and

I am not thinking what-if but I am and

I am thinking there should be a quota to grief and

I am thinking how could anyone want to do this how could anyone purposefully try to

I am choosing to stop thinking because I don’t know how a person keeps going

And I don’t necessarily mean me but the part of me that is her and

Here are the things that are—I wrote them in a poem so I would not forget—

mountains tall and hazy cut
out of sky, and bays blown
by ice winds, and snowcaps
blending into cloud, and grass
green growing, and daffodils
bright blooming, and sea
safety smelling, and friends
with arms around, and A.
alive alive alive, and rocks
rolling in color, and jokes
jolting back darkness, and days
joyful sorrowing in salt-
tasting smiles, and bus windows
fogged with spring’s early
breath

These things are. And if I keep thinking them and keep thinking Him

Maybe she’ll be safe and

I can stop being

afraid

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