Big, like a football player. He’s here for my donation to the Children’s Home, an elliptical trainer he hefts into the bed of his pickup. His hand clasps mine, the shake an engulfment. His name’s the same as my brother’s, the one killed when I was a child. A name lodged between heart and gut.
His handshake stops time. It’s a lifting-out-of, placing me in a world where my brother moves, AIDS has died off, and there’s silence in the Gaza Strip, broken by birdsong.
Resting on the Couch
She lies entirely on the left side of my chest, little pink legs tucked up, head turned sideways. Fashionistas covet hair like hers, flaming red tufts that catch the light and point everywhere.
She dozes comfortably atop my reconstructed breast. I’ve begun thinking of it as an art purchase that’s wearing well.
Such quick, determined breathing. My granddaughter! I with no sister, niece, female cousin or daughter of my own.
Spring Dusk, Yachats
The salal blooms – pale pink droplets on red stems. Its leaves go gray with fungus. My cousin, too, is uniquely beautiful and unhappy.
If you love someone who has everything but still sounds hollow, after sunset listen only to the ocean. Gather shadows.
Try a narrow path used by rabbits and deer. Disappear among shore pines and Sitka spruce. Be your absence. Be present to that.
Return to the beach where the ocean grows dark and the tide delivers your name. Where the hollow might stroll and the new moon rises.
Along the rocky trail, a blast of fragrance offered by wild roses while their cultivated sisters sleep, snug in green’s dark core
To fear is to stand at a bedroom window early in the morning and hesitate to raise the blind.
Once it’s up you see February sky that begins to show color. The sparkle of branches, roof tops, fence posts. Winter heather, purplish pink blooms grown plump. A cloud of a cat
models perfect indifference and still, you can’t welcome the view.
To fear is to fail to confide in a friend when any would offer support. It’s to stand at a window and watch snow melt, then go on watching.