I hope mommy is sleeping in heaven, she says
No. I say, she is dancing and singing in heaven
People don’t sleep in heaven
I wish I were in heaven she says
We have work here for now, I say. That is why we have God time–sing and dance
So we are ready for heaven
When it comes
The thing itself seems too big and awful–she liked to shoot up in the bathroom, the list of people who enabled her suggested a big bathroom
Why do this thing? Where do the needles come from? Where do they go after? Do heroin addicts have sharps containers?
I make the elements of the equation as simple as possible–
Keith died of it
Mary died of it
It must have been a doorway
Why do you walk through that doorway the first time?
What is through the doorway that is so compelling that you must go back–no matter what
What were they running from?
She tells the story as though they were just cooking bacon
Who lets a 4 year old cook bacon? Who lets a 4 year old watch a fire burn or find their own way floor to floor to grandma’s apartment?
Who falls asleep on the bus back from the methadone clinic
With a baby
My baby. My baby now
I cannot turn away
If x equals the thing you must have and y equals the way it makes you feel
Then they were simply bound to x because of y
Like sky or free diving
there is a rush
But this time, this thing, chained her to it, brooked all reason
in the blood and the brain you cannot undo
When Mary talks now on the Fisher-Price phone of loss, she speaks with a five year old’s falsetto. She is breezy, upbeat even, and we exchange pleasantries through the medium of her daughter’s voice.
Mary, the girls have your laugh, I try to tell her before the line cuts off. Mary, I always wanted to be your real mom, I tell her before the line clicks off. Mary, that last day haunts me. The girls talk as though you still have the giant carnival unicorn, as though you tucked it under your arm and carried it right through
The earth will soon dissolve like snow/The sun forebear to shine/But God who called me here below/will be forever mine
Apparently you can buy anything on Amazon I think as once again I am in a club I don’t want to belong to
He says what do I do now without her? And I tell him, she is not there. That is not where she is
Echoing the conversations between angels and other Marys
I tell him what I would tell you, or me or anyone–a dog on the street if I had to–
She is eternal and the pain we feel is that verification that we must seek eternity
Seek the one who can
Past our terrible selves