Friday, October 2, 2009


He didn’t know what to do with himself. In the beginning and in the end. What’s the difference. There was nothing before the event, which opened up into a big, forever nothing. Here he sat, in the big empty stomach of the world, in a wide whale’s belly. He comforts himself (if you can call it that) by sitting in the rocker. It quietly creaks. No, no, no, no, no, no. Where is she now? he asks God or something. Where are all those bodies? What does fire change a body into? A pile of ash. They boxed up a portion for him, his wife’s name neatly taped to one side. Martinez, Beatrice. He puts his hands inside the box, pushes his fingers into the dust of the dead. He imagines his wife’s hands falling to pieces, pieces of her swirling around with pieces of the others. All those ashes, all those families starting to sift together, his wife not just his any more. All those wives, husbands, sons, daughters, orphans—a family of ash. They should’ve just finished the job right there where it started—in that hall—burned the dead into one mixed-up mountain of ash. They should’ve just shoveled all the stuff into a truck, made a mountain of it on the white bandstand platform in the city park. Leave it there. Who would want to dance again, anyway? It’s such a cold winter. And spring will never come, at this rate. 

1 comment:

  1. haunting... the "no no no no no no" is the centerpiece to me.