7 Years Without
I remember it was cold. It was that December Pennsylvania cold that invades your bones and won't leave. It was deep and hard and unrelenting. But I didn't feel it. I could see the snow, I saw it gleaming under the lights at night, saw it swirl in the wind, saw it as filthy slush, but I didn't feel it.
I snorted Xanax like it was cocaine. Half a pill at first. Then a whole. Sometimes five a day. Sometimes tweleve. It didn't matter. It didn't help. The pills never made the cancer go away. They didn't stop my hands from putting the morphine drops into your mouth. They didn't stop your hallucinations. They didn't stop the hospice nurses and the hospital bed in the living room and the fear you must have had. The weed didn't help either. I felt it all. I felt you fading. I felt your last breath. I felt your spirit leave.
I have regrets, sure. I wish I had paid more attention when you were cooking. I'm not a very good cook. I wish we didn't party together as much as we did. I wish we were the mother/daughter pairs on TV, the ones that go shopping together, without getting fucked up first. The ones that sit on the edge of a bed and quietly talk about birth control and staying safe. Remember when I lost my virginity and you asked me if it happened? You were drunk and I said yes and you cried. Then you wrote it on the calendar. I wish I wasn't a bratty teenager that wanted to spend more time with her friends than her mother. But mostly? I wish you didn't die at 44, never getting a chance to meet your sons-in-law and granddaughters.
I crawled in your hospital bed after you died and hugged you and cried. I barely remember. Tasha remembers the whole thing. I lived in that bed until they came and took it away. I wanted to absorb every piece of you. I wanted to go with you. I wanted it to be a year earlier, when we didn't know you were sick. When cancer was just a thing someone else had.
My dreams still aren't happy. After 7 years, you still come to me sick. It might not be outward, but we all know it. Deep down, we know. I hope that soon you will come to me healthy. You will have a full head of hair, a smile on your face, and your granddaughters at your side. You will hug me and smell like your perfume. You will be YOU. Until then, as always my love...
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)