Wednesday, December 7, 2022

My mother-in-law's COPD


I can see the glow in your mouth! The mouth a fissure, bounded by a fleshy cone. The lava will form tubes soon; they’re more efficient, but there's less to look at. From a helicopter, you can see rivers flowing down the Mauna. The mountain has one mouth open, two closed. The sound is of breaking every glass in your kitchen, or that’s as far as analogy takes me. I could not hear the flow, only others’ chit chat. She says she hates small talk so much it hurts. But when the mouth opens, it promises something. Our speech roils like heat waves from the caldera where figures for emotion melt into rock. The fountain, at dawn, leaves a trail of vog in the saddle, the plume of a plume moving toward Maui and Oahu. You live in such an interesting place. Should she go to a tropical island when there’s a volcano erupting? If you survive, her friend responds. The cost of our ignorance is the loss of joy in witness. Not apocalypse but creation. Not terror, but sweetness. I turned up Saddle Road, driving toward the full moon, a sky of stars, and Mauna Loa’s fountain, its twisting ribbon of red. We may never see this again, Bryant says, and he wishes it would end.

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