My mother decided to take my fathers’
Appointment, at the holistic doctors office
Five days after he died. It was hard to get
In to see him- months even, and my
Fathers’ disease still hung around the air
Like we could catch it, and without life
Insurance until the 30th
She was worried about things like “what if I died
Too?” Imagine- a time where she had the
Luxury to worry about her own flesh.
Not the way we imagined it.
When she wasn’t trying to squeeze
Someone’s palm hard enough to wring out
The pain they had inside them,
As if it could be transferred, rug to hand, the shock
Like flint to rock, when two things cannot
Be at once and so they fight for space
Sending up big fiery sparks
Like how you can be everywhere-
Your coffee cup, your rain jacket
Yet nowhere to be found.
“This is great that you’re doing this”
I told her. She grimaced, sucked in her
Cheeks and turned her mouth upwards
In a breathless gauze covered smile.
They will see her, and help her, I thought.
The old trick. We could push our sadness all
The way out to the limit until they get swept
In by savior, white light, white coat.
Let them take care of this. Let them figure this out
Like I could pawn off my fear and sell it
To Blue Cross, to the hospital that wouldn’t waive the 5
Dollar parking garage charge when I couldn’t pay
It. So they pointed me the way to the bus-
You cost too much. Let somebody else take this.
Had we given my father away like that? I didn’t think much
Of humanity when I walked away from the lot that night.
The kids don’t talk back anymore. The
Best I can do is make the house warm
For her when she comes home. Put on the
Noise, the chatter of wine glasses against
The counter. These are the sounds I would like to
Remember like laughter and stomping
Off shoes when we came in. My sister animated in a story
The sound of the leather chair stretching as he would lean
Forwards to hear what she was saying.
Put on the TV, the radio,
My shoes are louder now and stand on heels that
Anything to make me move faster from the quiet
That makes us hear something cracking inside us
Like the sound that kindness makes when it gives you a
Small space to rest in
Alexandra Karambelas is a 24-year-old creative writer based out of Burlington Vermont. She has been spending her time fighting the political revolution while serving overpriced Chinese food at P.F. Changs.