Monthly Archives: April 2014

For a Friend

I was not there when you said goodbye when his heart finally gave out after thirty-five years.

I was not there when you said No again and again—when you whispered, Come back. I need you.

I was not there when you threaded your fingers between his—the way your mother instructed you to when you were little and she wanted you two to stick together. Take good care of him, she might have said again and again throughout your childhood. How could she have known that you would.

I was not there the last seventeen days while you slept by his side while you teased him about getting up. Get up. When you pleaded with him, GET UP. When you shouted at a god you no longer believed in when he did not.

I was not there when you kissed his forehead. When you ran your fingers through his hair, straightening it because you knew how he would have hated his hair looking crazy at a time like this.

I was not there when you left the room–when you looked back one more time at room 580— when you reminded yourself that it wasn’t him anymore—that he was gone. When you thanked the nurses for all they did. When you rode down the elevator feeling like you had forgotten something like a pit in your stomach. Like a boulder in your throat. Like an enormous piece of yourself. When you walked to the car and the sun heaved its warmth on you. When you said, Fuck you, to the Presbyterian Church bells as they echoed through the parking lot. When you got into your car. When you turned up the radio. When you screamed.

And then you screamed.

And then you screamed.

And then you drove home.
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