The knock on the door
was like, what the fuck is that.
An early March morning,
almost Spring but still a dusting
of snow on the ground,
the last thing you want to see
is a couple of cops coming up
to bang on your door. Especially
with the bong between us
& the bud all over the table
but when he came back
it was much worse than that.
His daughter, 16, her cousin, 17,
a car accident,
The police couldn’t
or wouldn’t provide details
& all the hospital said was
you better get up here.
So we did the hour drive in 35
mostly silent, with the sister,
the aunt, the mother crying in the back
while next to me he’s imagining the worst,
except for the worst.
There was no place to park in Boston
so I let them out, found a spot, came back
to find him already outside, alone,
defeated.He turned to me.
And I watched his soul collapse.
I’d known him since I was 16
& I knew her forever,
Her cousin too,
watched him rage around
on stubby legs, repeatedly throw
himself over the couch
in a relentless barrage of back flips,
hit his home run & take his base,
now lying broken, might not walk,
might not think, might not wake up at all,
It’s a heavy pain that empties you,
scoops you out and stays with you.
There is no closure. What is closure?
Even when the coffin lid goes down
& you heft it up to set in the ground
there is no resolution to this thing.
You carry it with you.
The piece that is missing
becomes the piece that is you.
Later, after the funeral,
back to the hospital
we are late but not that late
& he is already coming out of surgery.
They don’t have to operate, his mother says.
His hip is healing on its own,
they said it was shattered
but it’s healing on its own.
And later that night
when he awoke and recognized
his mother and said he was thirsty
we all wept again.