Tag Archives: aging

Future Dog

Future Dog wags her tail in the passenger seat of Future Car, which can pull 3,500 pounds, the weight of Future Camper plus a buffer against the life we are leaving,  my old cat dead and cremated, like her brother before; likewise my mother, like my father before; their ashes placed in Future Car for […]

Words escape me

through the latest perforation, this Swiss cheese, this colander, the hole punch of each passing day, the mute minutes in which my ability to name and thus constrain becomes ever more soluble. How readily they slip from my loosened grasp, scatter and gambol through meadows outside my purview, freed from the meaning I made them […]

Closed captioned

(pensive orchestration) I contemplate my life. (distant music; eerie, tentative) It is dark in here. What is this place? (music intensifies) I am born, wailing like I know what I’m in for. (Baby Elephant Walk) 10 pounds, 11 ounces. (baby crying) Colic for three months. (playful orchestration) I learn to talk, walk. Nothing goes really […]

Our lovely bones

I Dear Collarbone: No one blames you, least of all the ball still firmly in the socket because you gave and then held, a faultless fault line in my body’s aging architecture. II As a child, I quailed to learn I have a skeleton — that horror-movie staple — inside me. What to do? We […]


I I assemble the notebook of my mother’s dying: the specialists’ names, numbers, addresses. Diagnoses, prognoses, prescriptions. Explanations of every benefit we do not feel. We decline patient portals. For our convenience, they say, but we are not yet fools.  We recognize the human hand washed by technology of our sticky anxiety, the obdurate, unanswerable […]

Sitting between my father’s ashes and my sleeping mother

I consider the difficulty of endings, the origin of parents, their lives before me, what repository holds their spent youth, whether it is the same that holds mine, that holds yours. Or will. Weren’t we, not knowing it, magnificent? Didn’t we dream? Weren’t we foolish, and pulsing with possibility? Flawed and earnest, didn’t we love? […]

From my cat, I catch contentment

  Some strange grace arises from the hand buried in the soft fur of my cat’s purring belly and spreads up my arm to the rotator cuff again torn and mending poorly, through the hollow of my chest wherein beats raggedly the perplexed heart, down the depthless region of fulfilled and disappointed desire, into the […]

End zone

Slumped and somnolent, my father smells of urine and stasis, his eyes half-lidded, his shirt half-buttoned, his catheter — part of him now, no less than the wheelchair– leaking from his belly like a poorly kept secret. I dream his body a piñata at a party no one believes, an imitation life waiting to break […]

In praise of dead fathers,

the clarity of their absence. Does enough of you remain to shoulder the dulled implement, excavate some shard of horror at your disappeared life? No. Your fluid, nimble brain has gone porous and brittle, and what can you see in the attenuating dark? This is you now, slumped in the wheel chair, confused and compliant, a […]


  Your loved one dies; mine goes away. If you never see him again, if I never see you, what of it? We claim mastery, at least, of solitude, which is to say, separation. Does it matter that life does not give us all we want? Does it matter what we want? Does it matter? […]