Tucking Into Breastbone Hollows


Unwinding ribbons of sun, earlier and earlier. A young rabbit moves in mute from stepping stone to stone. To see one another and move on seems to be the path. Already, acorns.

We called Gibson “the fifth child” on account of how much Mom made him a priority. His ashes will come back next week to be buried under the upper deck stairs that face the lake. He literally dug his own grave. The dogless silence fills her house now.

Perhaps the time has arrived to become less earnest. A perpetual benediction swirls in slanted sunlight streaming through the room of glass. Isn't reading generally a means to attain? And so what is writing? There is a great fatigue swelling in the actions of my day. The ego bleeds, you know.

It's colder now. The empty fireplace waits on winter, waits on its savior moments. Flowers gasp and sweatshirts exhale the darkness of drawers. Darker days express the need to stay awhile. And yet. A woman wraps beautiful scarves over her nape and tucks the coils into breastbone hollows. The fabric is comfort and shield and camouflage. In all its undoing, autumn allows this.

The tick of my father's watch – he sutures what is always fleeting. The smell of hospital and disinfected hands and Polo aftershave would sting my nose when his mustache pricked my cheek long after bedtime. He stayed long enough for two ticks of the second hand – leather strapped, gold, square-faced Timex, tick-tocking in the silence of my room.

Lately, Sinéad. Her public expressions of mental illness are arresting. I remember remember the things that she screamed into my adolesence. I remember her red voice, the color of love and rage. The color of excommunication. The color of my hair.

Now it is the color of wine in the darkheart of night on the back porch watching the last of fireflies mingle over the creek. One doesn't discount the distance, you know. There and not there, a cartography of sentences spool down the long corridor. My east and eastward. Into sunrise, into light.

As a small rabbit warms each stepping stone with quiet insights, so too my small racing heart settles into a muted lull. Yet even in one thousand years I will not forget how it feels to melt away under warmth of scarves and fireplaces and dogs and the candle-softness of daybreak on my face.