… as they meld into each other…oscillating between horror and hope, between fear and faith, in a never-ending danse macabre…

 

 

The geese keep flying back.

Don’t they know we are all dying here?

 

 

 

Learned to make a cloth face mask.

Went for a walk,

didn’t wear it.

 

Day 13 of city-wide quarantine.

I am fine.

Losses and gains.

Stopped wearing makeup.

No rings on fingers

Easier to clean.

Birds in the morning.

And all day…

 

 

Il se cache

dans l’ombre

tisser des feuilles

vert camouflage

au-dessous d’une arbre

Debout, flottant

esprit habille en homme

il m’attende

dans l’ombre

des mes rêves…

 

 

This could have been the day

The portents came late

Noon had passed

Life was waning

Sun so bright

Not bright enough for the shadows

That fell

One by one

Upon filaments of hope

Whispers of prayers

Scent of love

The shadows fell

The day followed

Something still remained

Breath-less

Till tomorrow

 

 

 

give

don’t ask

when in need

don’t ask

when harmed

don’t ask

when praised

don’t ask

rewarded

don’t ask

granted

don’t ask

forgiven

don’t question…

 

 

 

I dream of sleep

as snow falls

and butterflies

shudder

 

 

 

 

Five years after he died, my Father came back. I found him sitting in the middle of my room, in a straight-backed chair, looking out the window. It was still dark, the curtains were drawn but I could sense he was seeing something. Dad? He did not turn around at first. I held my breath and closed my eyes. Mili, he said softly and I opened them again. Mili, is it snowing? He was still facing the window, his hands on his lap; small, delicate hands of an artist. Or a child. I stood behind him and gently touched his shoulder. I felt the coarse fabric of his jacket but the sensation was fleeting, my fingers caressed air. Slowly he turned and looked at me with the eyes I see in the mirror every morning. Our eyes. Yes, it’s snowing, I answered before opening the curtain. The street was deserted. Quiet. Snow-less. And then, as I looked, flakes began appearing and disappearing like fireflies, and soon the air was dancing, swirling, and I heard him say: there! It snowed all day. Perhaps it was just for a minute. Time ebbed. It muted and dissipated the light, and soon it was dark again. I was alone. Walking past the empty chair to the window, I hesitated. The curtain opened onto a quiet street, the pavement diluted in white…

 

I hear them, a cacophony of languages as alien as they are frighteningly familiar, each word a garble, an utterance of pain, of horror, gurgling remains of a roar, for all that is left in the lungs is barely enough to carry the pain to its conclusion.