Sixty-Seven

There is a shadow in her room; it traverses the cracked walls and holed ceiling.                               At night it hides                                                      maybe in the remnants of her closet, maybe under the bed with tattered sheets, maybe it disappears, she does not know where it lurks, perhaps inside her heart. 
It dances on her walls, expanding, shrinking, attacking, retreating. All day it dances
She lays in her bed in surrender to its advances,
Then she stands in defiance, slides into her clothes and walks out.
She slams the door behind her,
But the shadow bolts under the dresser, over the bed, through the door and straight ahead.
It climbs the walls in the corridors 
it crawls the broken floors, it swings back and forth from the burnt grapevine pergola. It moans a sad moan in her ears, and hovers heavily over her shoulders.
It clouds her eyes with grey melancholy
It burdens her voice and inhibits her smiles.
But without it, she is an aimless bee without a hive.
******
On a hot summer night, the sea crashed into the beach urgently
The sky glowed white phosphorus hot,
He arrived more beautiful than the moon, more luminous than the sun.
Her heart gave in to the softness of his skin, the tenderness in his cooes 
They placed him in her arms, a crying, swaddled bundle,
and her heart took a tumble
They stitched her insides back together, 
To her chest she pulled him closer
his head she smelled
His face she caressed
A magnificent feeling to become a mother..
During the years, she learned 
That her heart will break everytime he fell
That his laughter is the edge of heaven
That his tears are the gates to hell
She learned That she will cry at every first day and last day of school
That his voice will salve her soul in the midst of endless explosions
She learned that the voice will change quickly from a cry to a roar,
but his eyes will sparkle just the same, like the moon glistening in the sea.
It was a fateful morning when he left the house, his eyes iridescent with laughter
In between breakfast and teasing banter
He kissed her cheeks and asked for her blessings.
He was a bright spot in all the darkness,
an oil lamp in the endless electricity outages.
He was as sweet as bottled water.

On that fateful humid May morning, 
She found his eyes,first… a light extinguished
His smile, second…a rose wilted
His hand, third, wrapped around his phone…a signal killed
His legs, last, two limp logs splayed to the East and West
She birthed him from the mouth of rubble, head first, 
shoulders and torso second, hands and phone, third, then two limp broken legs...

She held him to her chest, this time, a silent swaddled bundle
In his place sixty seven shadows hover





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