if you ever find yourself possessed into my body and have found the time to relive my life for
i try now to give you a few short pointers for how to better interact with kindness
for when you run into your mother’s greatest lost love
with your mother
on mother’s day.
point one: realizing all is not well, that the lobby of this movie theatre has become a graveyard of Memory’s past, has found itself haunted, lets the dust rise in the form of a bearded man. your mother’s usual proud head shamefully digs in to its purse, perhaps in the good fortune that an exit quicker than the door will appear between wine-red lipstick and tampons.
point two: realizing that this man exists outside his Facebook profile, that the photos of him you stalked have never quite embraced the genuine kindness that rings from him as his daughter loops herself between his elbow and belly; he extends his hand out to catch her’s—the daughter you will remember that should have been you. that’s what your mother had said in the glow of the check engine light. it never mattered how many times she gave our minivan back to the shop, because her light always eventually came back on.
point three: realizing he sees you. considering how he must consider you—he pulls you apart, your flaming locks coiling into proud jewish curls somewhere in the catacombs of his mind that Memory once carved with love. yet when faith challenged love, he sealed her inside. imagining how he imagines you. imagining how your knees give way to to the ground when you pray—that is, he wonders if you pray. does he picture your God somewhere in tandem with his? do they dance with all the lights turned off?
point four: taking the escalator out. your mother will turn, last moments fading, to observe him from afar. she won’t get to choose when she will look at him again, but right now, he wades through this graveyard with her. every moment has reopened these parts of her she never really closed. you will see perhaps for the first time not your mother, but the women that inhabits her body. you see a girl in a college dorm, hair long and writing with fury, desperate to protect a heart more fragile than she will ever admit to. she writes letters to him she never sends, and each word embalmed in ink finds themselves in Memory’s shallow hands.
if you ever find yourself within my body and i can’t be there to help you pass through, i’m begging you now. i’m begging you, please: look her in the eyes and acknowledge you saw him, too.