Once inside her house, from deep inside her house, my mother conducts
the silence. Her fingers, swelled with age, glide time like a pool of
Wading through the sunlight, thick and visible through the wrinkles in
the shades, my mother backstrokes across the sofa while time drips
down her skin, splotches like ink on the blue veins of her feet.
My mother, blue, waiting, fills her pool until it spills, until there
is no air to breathe. Only stillness. Only time, filling her throat,
bloating her lungs with irrepressible thought.
A voice, tinny and absolute, vibrates in her teeth, nags like foil. On
pointed toes it peeks behind my mother’s gums, sends whispers up
through a tunnel.
Meanwhile my father is in the kitchen, stinking. Hair chewed up by
grays. But not until later. Not until the silence dries and her skin
becomes ink. For now it is just my mother. Floating face down on the
living room carpet, translucent beyond the day.