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He doesn’t want to go.

His eyes are slightly open when he sleeps, leaving the windows to his soul ajar, so death can escape. His eyes are slightly open, letting the light in so his heart does not beat in the shadows of the tumour that’s rising like a boulder, hardening his belly.

 

He doesn’t want to go.

His rosary beads dangle from his branchlike fingers, a purple lifeline he winds around him. He turns breath into prayers and they bubble silently from his lips, seep into the air we all breathe.

 

He doesn’t want to go.

He holds my daughter’s hand, walking her around the lounge room, their feet shuffling. Grounding them in a moment that will fade from her memory but not her skin.

 

He doesn’t want to go.

So his body is on trial. His veins flow with new medication, testing his limbs while hope burrows inside him, promising one more day. To breathe his wife in as they lie on the makeshift bed in the lounge room that does not close in on him.

 

He doesn’t want to go.

So he eats with his mouth but he tastes with his eyes. He imagines the flavours bursting on his tongue as he spoons my plain fried rice into his mouth. He remembers the streak of spices that he washed off plates in Paris restaurants when he was a new groom, and the leftovers he packed in containers to share with his wife.

 

He doesn’t want to go.

His wife goes to Mass and brings home the Body of Christ wafer in a gold rimmed box. It melts on his tongue.

He wheels my daughter around the lounge room on the seat of his walking frame, his wife shadowing his fragile steps.

 

He doesn’t want to go.

His son massages his head, his skin collecting like grooves in the sand.

His daughter makes chicken vegetable pie that he eats with enthusiasm. It tastes of love on his tongue.

His son in law listens to him as he speaks of his childhood in Pakistan that smelt of worn out plastic shoes.

His wife dusts his worries and his fears and collects them inside her.

 

He doesn’t want to go.

His beanie keeps his head warm as the nurse sits beside him in the lounge room and drains fluid from his stomach.

He swallows the pain as his belly deflates. I massage baby oil onto his skin and it sucks it up like chapped earth.

 

He doesn’t want to go.

His smile lifts his tired eyes as he gives his family hoarse instructions on how to make Nihari, his signature dish. He directs us from his bed with gloved fingers. We scramble about, writing down his recipe, frying the meat, letting it simmer for hours, so that once a year we can recreate a piece of him.

 

He doesn’t want to go.

So he swallows the medication, knowing it will get caught in his throat.

We rub his neck, lift him up, knead his back to coax it down.

 

He doesn’t want to go.

He clings to his son’s neck as he lifts him up off the bed and onto the couch. The heat pack loosens the knot in his stomach as he writes his own prayers in a yellow A4 notebook. We are penciled between the pages and he breathes us out every night when he prays, even after his mouth stops producing sound.

 

We don’t want him to go.

“I’m tired,” he mouths, his hand caressing his face in slow motion. He signs the cross on his chest and lays his head on the pillow. We sit by his side, hold his hand, and wait, the air thick with our tears and singing.

 

In loving memory of Stanley Lobo

RIP – 29/12/1946 – 13/8/2018

 

 

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You burrowed inside my body
And made a home for
five weeks six days.
My heart beat for two
but couldn’t revive you.
They called you a “foreign body,”
I called you my baby.
My body became a fortress
to keep you in.
You wrapped your arms
around my heart and
we stayed like that until week ten
when you flowed out of me
and anger filled your place.
I didn’t know that you could go
that so many other
mothers’ hearts
were breaking too.
It’s been two years
but the anger still
bleeds into the present.
I dilute it with
the courage
that you left me
to try again
and again
for that second heart
beat
that now belongs to your
sister.

Love true

 

Beat fear

 

Hurt pain

 

Hope well

 

Grip fate

 

Load life

 

With zeal

 

Make guts

 

Rock hard

 

Seek self

 

Keep real

 

Grow wits

 

Shed hate

 

Look with

 

Wide eyes

 

Feel your soul

 

Open

 

This was a fun challenge! Would love to read your four letter word poems. 🙂 For those of you who are interested, here’s a list of words to work with:  http://www.becomeawordgameexpert.com/wordlists4.htm

 

 

 

Love multiplies with timeLove

Adds without subtracting

Measures infinity

With irrational numbers

Divides two

To equal one

Great common denominator

 

My fingers crawl along the keys

Eleven words per minute.

My eyes chase letters

My fingers words

My heart stories

An alchemy

Time cannot measure.

 

 

ImageWhite is a pulse

 

it makes the stars quiver

 

tomorrow nude

 

today open

 

the soul

 

alight

 

 

Photo: Demet Divaroren,  Marmara Sea, Istanbul, Turkey  

 

Be nude before me

mind

untangle

thoughts

turn them to

breath

Melt into my lips

dilute me 

with you

I brew my words in the heat of the moment

they scald your mouth

burn

the tip of your tongue

and you swallow your words

with mine

I                                                                                                                                                               

When God cries for his children,

death obeys.

 

II

A skeletal tree

bows to the leaves at its feet.

The remnants of death.

 

III

Death has a callous touch

as it draws you back into its

dark womb.

 

IV

Empty eyes peruse me

from an empty soul,

death’s vacuum.

 

V

A baby is born,

its tiny fingers blue.

Death cuts the umbilical cord.

 

VI

An arrogant leader,

death unleashes its pack

to bring home the kill.

 

VII

A lonely cemetery embraces

the deceased;

death sleeps.

 

VIII

Red, black and white

glisten mockingly

on death’s rainbow.

 

IX

A brilliant dawn salutes the day,

a luminous dusk declares its death.

 

X

Earth stirs.

Wolf howls.

Death takes.

 

© Demet Divaroren