In memory of Ernie Casciato
Because it’s perhaps unknowable or unbearable we tend to fold time into something we can
recognize like a shirt, neatly, crisp even.
I do it by saying and then.
I was a son for so long and then I was a father. The moon lit up the meadow and then a fox stepped out from behind
the pine. The town was quiet for years and then the traveler arrived.
You died on a Monday and then a week went by.
You had a body and then you did not have a body.
You had hands and then you did not, you had feet, ears, you had a car you had music you liked to listen to you had extra ice in your drinks you had suffered you had learned to play an instrument you had
once been someone’s baby and she lifted you up into the air and said your name in Italian, Ernesto, and you made a gurgling sound
and then she pulled you back
to earth, back into the warm groove of her neck and held you and rocked you
back and forth and then she smelled the top of your head and then some clouds moved
over the two of you and then they moved on and then your father called out
from inside the house and then you closed your eyes, and then she rubbed your small back and then she began to sing to you and then you fell asleep.