Friday, March 23, 2012


March 23, 2012.

Dear Andrea,

I am moving. 

It is hard to be still.

My house is mine again.  The  smell of muddy man boots, Carhart jeans, jackets are gone. The wet wood, the damaged molded parts have all been ripped out, thrown out, dried out, disinfected.  Wood has been replaced by slate.  Slate from India.  Tumbled slate, mosaic slate, slate pavers.  My bare feet caress the cool roughness of stone.

Dressed in an abeurgine colored silk negligee and matching robe, both trimmed in black lace I dance to the regular beat of Baba Mall as I unpack boxes, take my time.  Contemplate  substance, texture of everything collected.  Only I understand the full meaning of these items.  Someday, someone will inherit all of this.  Should I leave notes for them?  “I bought this collection of fabric dolls from a little shop in Tallin..”

You would know that. 

I take the mundane and turn it into something exquisite.  This experience of moving. 

Of music that touches me, rocks me elementally.

I bend to pick something up from the floor.  My necklace, 18k gold, your name in Arabic, thin as a sheet of paper, falls in my mouth.  I bite it gently.  I remember when you bought this.  Its history.

Yesterday I saw a ghost of you in WalMart. 

From the back, the way the girl stood at the counter, the way her pants were just a little too tight, her fleshy sides spilling out over the waistband, the color of her hair, the wave in it she tried to tame, the casually tense way she held herself.  I walked past her, holding my breath, listening for your voice.

I wanted her to be you.  I wanted to go up to her, wrap my arms around, bury my nose in her neck, whisper, “I love you”, kiss her cheek.

I was in the laundry soap aisle before I could breathe again.  But I did not cry.  I don’t count tearing up as crying anymore.

Rehanging pictures of you as a baby, resetting your baby shoes on their shelf, I feel the pull of your mouth, the movement of your tongue against my nipple hungry for nourishment.  Our eyes meet.  You smile. Milk pours out the side of your mouth. 

Your sister texted me today.  She is moving.  She has a box of used sharps that were yours.  Do I want them?

Not really. 

I tell her she can dispose of them.  Good luck on her move.

No reply.

Moving in.  Moving out.

Moving in again I keep only the important stuff. 

I arrange and rearrange. 

Nothing ever goes back the same way it was.  

I re create my space.  My self.     

Moving out.  Moving in.

I disinfect, polish to perfect shine, leave no smears.

Before I can move away, dust collects again, begins to settle. 

You are dust now.  Ashes. 

Alone beneath the blanket I tucked around you at night, the Easter Bunny I gave you when you were two, the five and dime tiara.

In my closet.  Hidden behind my suits and jackets.

I was a mother.

I am a mother.


This I cannot move in or out of.

I love you—Mom