“death cannot harm me
more than you have harmed me,
my beloved life.”
I tell my daughter first, because her knowing
forces it to become true. I have to leave dad.
Nothing is going to change. She nods
like a priest in a booth, the last fifteen years
staring down at us. Explains, softly,
how she’s spoken of me to her therapist.
Her worry of becoming my mirror. Tells me,
I remember you, mom, before him. You were happy.
Oh. Oh. To surrender to your death by someone else’s
hand is still a kind of suicide. Slower. I stand naked
on the porch as she recounts in perfect detail,
(in a poet’s detail) the very things I’d hoped
to disguise. My careful little spectator. Diligent neighbor
to my unnamed agonies. It is not ungrateful to resist
the tyrannies of obsession. It is no selfish act
to want, suddenly, to stay alive. My dear girl.
She is teaching and I am learning. I not only
want to be seen, I want to be seen through.
I return to my house, haunted and waiting.
I look into the mirror and notice the door.
Death & Loss
Love & Relationships
a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences
two lines of verse, usually in the same meter and joined by rhyme, that form a unit
conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie
a short quotation or saying at the beginning of a book or chapter, intended to suggest its theme
a word group (a statement, question, or exclamation) that interrupts the flow of a sentence and is usually set off by commas, dashes, or parentheses
a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”
a word, object, action, character, or concept that embodies and evokes a range of additional meaning and significance.