Her heart was not entirely stone. Her interior seemed comprised of one stone & one bird. She told her parents she read a short piece by her favorite poet, Victoria Chang, from her collection of poems titled Obit & shared these lines: There is a bird & a stone / in your body. Your job is not / to kill the bird with the stone. They understood. She holed up at the white cliffs of Dover, finding a small cavern to call home. She settled into the chalky womb quickly but not without thoughts of Calypso. She often fantasized what happened between Odysseus & the nymph, why she had released him without incident. It reminded her of the ease with which her parents had let her go. She suddenly felt sad. Rallying her emotions, she played with this newfound power in her fingers. First, she would practice with chunks of limestone from the cliffs, training her fingers to pull them toward her. Then, she would draw the algal bloom into her palms. Soon, she could suction any & everything that crossed her path. She decided to call her parents.
When my husband decided to take our kids with him to his father's funeral in Albuquerque two weeks ago, I thought it was a terrible idea. Of course, my husband should be there, but the depths of trauma associated with the place were too much for our kids to enter. A magnetic pull of Herculean strength was no match for my gentle words of caution. At first, he texted Not getting home tonight / can't make connections. Then, can't fly out until tomorrow / until Tuesday / until the weekend / we are fucked. It's been two weeks of this. Like some bad horror movie, my husband & three kids cannot get out of Albuquerque. There are no rental cars available. There are no flights. It's as if the entire department of transportation has conspired to destroy my husband, forcing him to stay in Albuquerque, to stay mired in terrible memories, for as long as possible. I told him to hire a hot air balloon. No response. The last text I received, late last night, read I can't get out of this city! He can't get out of his childhood. None of us can as far as I can tell.