When the fog settled over the Gulf Coast
for days that seemed to run together
like a week of binge-watching,
life was like walking through a dream
in varying filters.
It was that last day in the middle of the night—
before the fog lifted—
that the 3 boys came to her door.
Their frightened faces had been framed
in the frosted oval glass,
& their owlish eyes had looked sickly
in the illumination of the orange streetlight.
They said that the Londoners had taken their parents
& spoiled everything.
She chastised herself for opening the door
for what if they’d been followed?
And it was when she thought to look back
that she realized her family had disappeared
the second she had opened that door,
just as she was here
because someone else wasn’t.
When he was alive,
she slept to escape him through dreams,
but when he died,
he haunted those dreams,
& she became an insomniac who,
from sleep deprivation,
began to see his reflection in every window
& imagine his presence behind every door.
Famous writers haunted ghostwriters,
cases were tried by the judges perfected in Christ,
& the scientists who’d practiced the healing arts on Earth,
imparted their knowledge from Heaven—
even as those who’d passed on ages before
were able to witness the wonders of humankind
while living in the presence of the wonder of God.
Funerals were truly a celebration of one’s mortal life,
& grief became a thing of the past.
There was no moving on,
for to see & hear their loved ones was enough
to make up for the loss of the other 3 senses;
this new way of life & death helped keep their memory alive,
even as new conversations with the departed
were being had.
Where there had been faith,
there was now knowledge,
save for those who believed that man had never walked the moon.
When she forgave her husband for his pornography addiction,
it continued to happen.
When she forgave her husband for his corporal punishment,
it continued to happen.
When she forgave her husband for showing their daughter
what to look for in a husband,
how to treat a woman,
the abuse continued to happen,
for she saw bearing under immense suffering as glorifying God.
After her husband’s temper finally got the best of her,
she realized that forgiveness never meant that she had to stay;
her God had died for her,
but she had,
in a sense,
died for Him.
When the philosophers died,
their ideas died with them;
when the writers died,
their stories died with them,
& all that was left was the Here & Now.
She’d always said never again,
the make-up never quite covering the bruises.
When Ruby was placed in her satin box,
the artist of the dead made her look better
than she ever had in life.
She left them incentives in her will—
requests that would lead them to discover
greater things in themselves.
When he thought he had forever to live,
he strolled through life;
when he knew the day of his death,
& did not stop,
till the last dot
XXXon the ellipsis
XXXXXXof his timeline.
When the musicians died,
their music died.
Recording the past
was against the laws of the present,
so that the future could not be
dictated by it.
In her red rain boots & slicker—
like a Little Red Robin Hood, she was,
playing hopscotch where the deluge
had washed away the chalk lines.
She’d never had a childhood,
so when she had her own child,
she gave what she’d wanted for herself,
experiencing it secondhand.
On Feeding Children
Sweet potato brownies.
Black bean brownies.
He performed a Solomon in the womb,
so that 2 women could be blessed—
rather than 1—
the egg donor & the surrogate.
She had come from a broken home of broken bones,
& when she conceived,
she feared the softness of those bones,
& hardened her heart to give the same away.