… at the Passover table, speechless.



A nine year old me sits quelled at the Passover table, speechless.


Plan to call my cousin Norma, soon, tomorrow,
maybe this evening, no, its late to to late, call her this
coming Sunday, honest lies, no one believes
them including me, but I continue. Check to see if I
have her current phone number, hasn’t changed
in years, checked it a million time times over, so
then my cousin Bobby, he calls, haven’t
talk to him in 3, maybe 5 years, he calls to tell
me Norma passed. At her funeral I speak in
earnest, speak in subdued intensities, speak in
chary sentences, speak to family I haven’t spoken
to in years, don’t ask me how many —Years.
Hold no remembrance of our childhood
spent together, the only evidence, a black and
white photograph my father took of us. In it I am
in her care, younger cousin watched over by
older cousin. I look like I walked out of a sears roebuck
catalogue. Norma, she’s tall, neatly dressed,
beautifully young, beautifully my cousin. A starved
memory feeds off that image of the two of us. Now
I call her from her grave, now I tell her I love her,
always, since childhood. Now the question I’ve waited
to ask her, if anyone had a meaningful answer she would.
Norma, my cousin, my love do you believe in an afterlife?
I have my special way of believing, tell you sometime.
She’s busy, in the heart of salting her wondrous
challah bread. Tell me now. now. Later, sometime later.
An eighty year old me sits quelled at the Passover table, speechless.


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