'This Could Be Over' by Matt Dennison
There is a knock on the door. Another. A man enters, peers about uncertainly, spies my tiny light and advances. My mother has died. Has just died, he informs me, leaning forward, flowers in hand. I scatter some coins across the floor and work on, bent seriously over my task. All these barely perceptible bits of reluctant history and hate—it’s too much! Too much for one man to reconstruct, force into some semblance of rhythmic reality! Months later I am attacked by a scrawny, biting, blackwire figure struggling between my tweezers (he refuses to play bus driver and that’s that). I look up, sucking blood through tiny teeth, and remember. Casting down fiend, tweezers and magnifying glass, I run to the hospital. The grey halls wind and twist, the air is slippery silk dirt, my legs, of course, sleep-forged lead. An old nurse staggers into the hall weeping fat bosom tears, falls to the horseflesh floor screaming: “She’s dead! She has JUST DIED!” I kick open the door. She is dying, not dead. “Momma!” I cry and stand with arms outstretched, beaming. She spits on the floor and looks at me like the fool I am. Alive, still alive.
Copyright. Matt Dennison.
Better, from Main Street Rag Press. His work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine,
Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon River Poetry Review and Cider Press Review,
and Jutta Pryor.