The sun shone all the way down the road. I looked at him and saw him smiling the same smile that would haunt me till I live. Our car reverberated with music that sang of undying love and beauty; my ears were in their own personal heaven as his laughter boomed in the car. So entwined were we in each other’s company that it wasn’t until I woke up on the hospital bed that I realized my husband was no more — that the smile and laughter that were still so fresh in my mind were just memories that would get washed away with time.
“Hey, darling,” he smiled, not realizing how much his smile scared me. It was that smile which made my heart almost stop as I’d try to resurrect the memories I had forbidden myself. So much had changed and not changed since the day he…
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Most days, dad sleeps a lot. But today, he’s wide awake. He’s on the phone, yelling at me. He’s so angry, but there’s sadness in his voice, too. “I don’t have any money, I don’t have a car. I don’t even have any shoes,” he tells me. “And I’ve got to go down and see mom and dad.”
Now, my dad is 92 and his parents have been gone for decades. He has money in bank accounts that he doesn’t remember how to access, and he has a car he’s no longer able to drive. These days, his shoes mostly stay in the closet. He wears his slippers when he has the energy to walk down to the dining room to eat with his friends Leo and John, or when he gets the urge to bust out of the skilled nursing wing where he lives. He heads…
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Before I married my husband, I told him to make sure that he was marrying me for who I was that day, and not for any future changes he hoped to have wrought in me through the “transforming” power of marriage. Though we were both young, I had seen enough unhappy marriages to make me wary of the institution, and who wants to be institutionalized, really? I had no question that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, but I wanted us to start off with as little illusion as possible. I wanted to know that he saw me, and not some airbrushed version of a girl to be placed on a pedestal. It is easy to fall in love if you believe all the fairy tales and movies. Beautiful women with flowing hair and flawless skin meet muscled men with pure hearts and chivalrous intentions and they ride off to his manor with servants aplenty…
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It’s not about dropping words like stones down wells,
Listening to the clanks and clunks ricochet off the walls
As you hover near the edge, pleased with your senseless noise-making.
It’s about dropping yourself down the well.
It’s about human skin against stone –
That warm slap that wakens the blood
And can be heard for miles.
It’s about getting inside, you know?
Crawling into the English language
Like a wounded animal and
Curling up beside its pounding heart.
That’s the music.
The steady thump, thump of it going on
In its endless monologue.
You sync your words with the swelling of its lungs
And hope they sound like keys of an accordion
Breathing in dust and bellowing out clouds.
The beast at the bottom of the well
Has never bared its teeth at me.
At night I bury myself in its fur and
We move as one – a…
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