There never have been words that comforted me. No words of “I’m sorry for you loss” and what of my loss? It was a moonless night, or so it seemed. Something was wrong with my emotions and something strange about life set in. Feeling lost without being able to be alive. Such confusion Unable to touch or be touched…the rats ran up and down the stairs. The world began to disappear before my black soul, a soul without God’s touch, a motionless moon and stars that were shattered in the night sky. Everything seemed to stop…no past, no future, trapped with these rats lying on the alley floor with nothing but their skeletal remains. My life ended that very night since I could not feel anything. The darkness covered my body without mercy. There was neither devil nor hell just death…I’m unable to speak, unable to touch or be touched. I want to sit in a corner to melt into the night air. It’s hard to breathe…a gun would be nice to have, but I don’t think my death would stop the darkness….I wish she would appear so that I wouldn’t be alone. She would know what to say or what to do because I don’t. None of it makes sense.
Empty thoughts about a future that will not happen,
Pitch black, like me, in a whirlwind of chaos;
I can’t help but feel insane.
I felt the shadows of the night,
Moving in silence,
Looking for him.
He died at such a young age,
All alone, and there was no fuss made over him.
I did not cry—
Afraid that death would find me.
I had no name to whisper in the shadows.
Night of Sorrow
The night was cloudy,
Grief without the tears.
Tears were not flowing down my cheeks.
I just felt numb,
I thought that death would find me in the moonless night.
Maybe it would have been alright to die that night?
Escaping the noise and darkness,
Homes on fire,
Death covering my eyes.
This night sorrow followed me into the furnace.
The Last Kiss
She lay quietly in the hospital bed I approached with quiet steps. But she must have sensed me coming. It had been months since I had seen her. She began to weep as she looked up and saw me. We did not embrace. Tubes were coming from her nose and down her throat. I sat down next to the bed. She said: “Don’t let the other children see me like this.” I thought, “What about me?” I was still that five year old boy who she would admonish if I was not polite. Now a young adult I was sad and frightened that these were the last days of our time together. It had been all too fast. The years of snow with icicles forming on the sheets as she hung them on the freezing clothes lines and the autumn breezes had not lasted long enough for the leaves to fall to the ground. Yes, it was the spring of the year, and life should begin and not end like this. Her lying in a hospital bed and me left alone to walk home in a shower of fallen leaves with an impression of her forehead on my soft, brown lips.
Friday nights I got to go to work with my father. I slept in a chair with pillows as my mattress. My father would strip and wax the whole floor. He walked with taps on the heel and tip of his shoes. I could hear him walking down the hall to check on me. Tap, tap, tap as the heel on one foot touched the floor the tip of the other foot would tap. It had a rhythm to it as if he were Gene Kelly dancing across the floor. I was full of excitement as I heard him coming and closed my eyes as pretending I was sleep. He would cover me up and walk his way down the wall. I was so thrilled to know that someone loved me.
A Child’s Corpse
After “Corpse Washing” by Rainer Maria Rilke
The sun was high in the August sky,
Clouds were dark as if they were sad,
It was dinner time when the crowd gathered,
They stood looking into the broken window,
On the floor glass was reflecting a body;
A child’s body just suspended in mid-air by a rope,
It was the brightness of the moon that caught my eye,
As the rats run up and down the basement steps,
It was the morgue hearse that moved silently into the night,
He had not realized that he was laying on what they call a slab,
His naked body should have felt the shower water
As it made its way down his gentle face with the eyes closed,
Remembering when his mother had shampooed his hair,
Eyes close to not allow the soap to get in his eyes,
But this time he would not open them once the shower stopped.