Thursday, February 28, 2013


My grandmother died.

It was expected, and we never had the kind of relationship I have to believe either of us wanted, but the end result is always the same: one person leaves, and the other is left behind.

She died slowly.

The first death was at her husband's funeral. They had been married for more than 60 years. The second death was at her daughter's funeral, 11 months after her husband's. Then her hearing died. Then her ability to walk. Then her memory, her bladder control, her will to communicate. Then her leg, which had to be partially amputated.

Then, I'm sure her doctors could describe better, but it seemed her lungs died as they filled with pneumatic fluid. And then her kidneys. And then, 2 days ago, her heart.

But, really, her heart started dying more than one decade ago.

May no one I ever love
or hate
experience a slow death
either as the participant
or the observer.


The title of this post is a shortened name of "quickening." In the first half of the 19th century in the United States, a woman was never positive she was pregnant until she felt the child move within her. This movement was (is?) called "quickening." A woman who was (is?) "quick with child" was one whose baby had confirmed its own life by making its own movements within her.

Women were morally, legally, ethically, socially, and medically allowed to abort until this period of gestation until the 1850s, when attitudes changed.


Two girls on the train
our age.

One reclines
the other one massages her head, face, scalp.

They are
more intimate than friends
not as intimate as lovers.

They remind me of us.

               I miss you more
than my eyes can contain.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


The art of losing
isn't hard to master. Just
practice, live, exhale.