Thursday, May 17, 2018

17 May 2018

I want to write an honest sentence. Ash is general over Ka`u. The therapist advises my husband to imagine he's holding a scalding pot, then to drop it on the floor. She imagines letting go of the blanket around her shoulders. All we have is an invisibility cloak, especially if we're older women; it's like an ID to a national park of pure observation. Mike signed my husband's name and Marthe shared my middle, inherited from my mother. In the Alzheimer's home she shed her maternity, became Martha with no-last-name. She was our child or our pet. The dog is about as smart as a toddler, cannot find her toy through the back slats of a chair. The front is still open, but she stays at the back, pawing spaces between slats, wanting to make the toy squeak with her nose. He says no one understands depression who has not lived there. Laughs at the dog, holding down his end of the rope, its many colors torn by her teeth. One man was said to turn his hose on the lava to slow it down. An old photo shows the US military bombing a flow to alter its route. It's the way men try to calm women down. Graffiti in Makiki claims Pele's ridding the island of “haoles and n—ers.” Now there's a logical statement. No sentence quite refuses meaning, so we hold onto its handles like old women in slick bathtubs, hoping not to crack our bones on the way out. We'll hold onto anything, you see, to bear our mortality. My mother was afraid the doctor had bad news, was reassured it was another woman's husband who died in surgery. That was before he and she died, and Paul and Monica and Marthe and those who protested at the fence and those who answered cell phones in their back yards and those who ran away and those who stayed put. No air, he said. No air, Pele ordains, that is not ash-full. So hard to see through. I wanted to write an honest sentence about Tommy Pham, whose eyesight degenerates even as he hits over .300. He vents at the Cardinals, who kept him down so long. We love Tommy Pham for his beauty and his disgust. Marthe's twitter rage machine has come to life again. Laura reels at this new manner of grieving the dead who speak to us from our devices. “Are you driving?” mine asks, and I press “no.”
for Mike and Laura and i.m. Marthe
--17 May 2018

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