His voice is on YouTube, but I stillcan’t remember what it sounded likethe last time we spoke. His mouth fell off his skull in the rain.I’m in a movie theater where anothertowering man pretends to be him for 106 minutes.My fingernails leave scars on the chair’sun-empathetic arms. I dreamt last night about rereading his eulogy to a pack of hungry dogs. I still haven’t dreamt about him.It is September and we are all crying again,drops of milk pouring out of ourrefrigerator grief. My grandmotherdries her eyes and takes potatoesout of the oven with her bare hands. This is my brain’s sick joke— sicker than I am. Sicker than he was.Once, after, I held my breathfor as long as I could under the cremationof bathwater. I touched all the bladeswith the clumsiest of hands. I stuckone leg off the rooftop and waitedto lose my balance. It was allhands-on contemplation—no thinkingfor once. Just unfiltered, dangerousreaction. I am my uncle, or rather, his most gory ending.When I began to fear death morethan I feared living, it crashedover me like a green bottlein the hands of someone who hates me.Not a wave, not a car in a hurricane.Pure glass. How peculiar, to know nowthat this is in my blood, commonas a letter—to want to die one day,then live the next.
Everyone knows fear can dissolveinto something new with exposure.We are all trembling Polaroids,getting on airplanes, holding snakes,walking through high schools again,getting out of bed for an hour.
Watch, as the chemicals I’m made ofdevelop in the dark, turn me intoan alone that is never lonely. Never. Now, I dig graves, but don’t fill them in rebellion.