Tuesday, November 13, 2012


The woman on the lawn is dying of cancer. She and her husband stand close together, not speaking. She gestures up at the roof, and both stand staring a while longer. They stand still, so still, as the cells inside her belly multiply and divide - squirming to fill all the empty space. She is being consumed from the inside out, starting with what makes her woman, and ending with what makes her human. And while her insides churn into oblivion, she stands outside so still, almost-but-not-quite touching the man for whom eternity will not come soon enough.

After a while she turns into the house, leaving the warm Sunday thickness. He stands a few moments longer, then picks up a rake - still in his church clothes - and begins swiping feebly at the gutters, or at something no one can see, weary of urgency.

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