One Week in July

Aujourd’hui, maman est morte — Albert Camus


I. Forty Minutes to Goodbye


You drive the familiar roads home

but there’s nothing 

familiar about them this time:

home is a fleeting place. 


You drive faster, wanting to

put it all behind you 

wake up 20 years later instead,

not knowing the end.


II. The Death Room


There are too many people here 

too much nervous energy. 

You want them to leave

so you can sun yourself one last time,

drink from the fountain of her love. 


She sits up in bed &

you hold the bucket 

as she throws up,

wipe the blood from her lip

smooth the creases of her nightgown. 


You gaze into her eyes

brown meeting blue

some seconds she sees 

others she’s far away. 


She isn’t leaving

just disappearing 

spirit floating

above the body

dead weight.


III. The Bottom of the Ocean


You sink deeper 

into the water

let the suds

curl around your body.


You think of Paris, 

Robina St. 

anywhere,

any time before.  


You’ve been laying here for hours. 

The water stains red

turns brown. 

Who will keep vigil

in your time?


IV. 


You’re as far away 

now 

as she was

then

is now

still

will forever be. 


Death is a reminder that we are all heading in the same direction.


In loving remembrance of Coralie Ann Jacoby Grant Hill

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