At the start , a surging melancholy. The clash of chromosomes, the unseen bruises on the helix, contorted. A crimson drop, no mere stain, spreads into the woven, familiar fabric. Worsted, twisted, taut, like hands around a throat, like an entire apple in the mouth. Memory like a cleft in the chin, indelible. There is pressure on the throat from works unspoken, truths not told. Release the bottleneck. The trauma thrums nice and steady; predictable. The eye is persistent in the witness of the curse of skipped generations. Grim acceptance. The waiting can drive those who are aware enough to the threshold with empty hands.
Your hand at every crosswalk and everything I knew in that touch. All I couldn’t see as I looked up, through a fringe of hair that you roughly and consistently brushed from my face. I was always looking up, down or away. All of my mistaken fears were a violation of some sort of treaty. You held me back and pushed me forward. I existed on the edge of the climb in regions in which, even you, refused to guide me. I felt great respect for reasons I am still unraveling today. You held me tight, but I remember the absence of words, advice I longed for. What I would learn: your silence was deeper than words could ever convey, the memory of all you wanted to leave behind sharper than knives sheathed and hidden in satin lined drawers.
We liked to talk about the family miracle as if it were an all-encompassing entity, a glittered entity born out of trouble and sorrow, requiring only stolid and obscure prayers to forgotten saints and a belief in yesterday. I tried to build a bridge from the unknown to the known place and failed like a shamed schoolgirl. All that funeral food, tough meats and fruit with spiny skins, like all the pills of the terminally ill---hard to swallow. We speak of the afterlife and imagine our reunion with the mythic figures, the family characters we have never met--- men in their dusty fedoras, the ghost of burned out cigarettes haunting their thick fingers, to say nothing of the women with the still satiny scars across their chests where a breast or two used to be, still worriedly clutching yellowed pearls and miraculous medals that hang about their necks like an 18k noose. What we really know is that the family miracle is selective, a luminous fiction and a desertion of our practicalities---a place for the worst insomniacs among us to lay our heads.