Thursday, May 23, 2013

finding the toreadors, first draft

when i think about my mother's passing
i think about Dali's Hallucinogenic Toreador.
i can see both vividly in my head.
one masterpiece was oil and canvas,
the other
freckled skin, tender shallowed breath, and a calm pulse.

the trick about Dali is that he teases your perspective.
he slaps you first with awe,
a strike behind the knees
so you wobble,
dumbfounded and gasping,

"how beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful!"

and you think you get it,
you think you understand
you think you realize everything that exists in the painting,
until the guide at the museum points out:
   "you don't see it all upon first glance."

hidden within layers
there is more.
beauty, mystery, emotion, tragedy, life.

"Hallucinogenic Toreador takes careful examination," said the museum guide,
"it takes training your eyes to see the dual images."

one month ago this morning,
i held your hand and rested my index finger upon your wrist
upon your pulse,
and i felt the rhythm of your life in my fingertip.
i felt it diminish.
i felt the last beat of your heart.
i felt you die.

"how beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful!"

wobbling, gasping, dumbfounded,
i believed i understood,
i believed i got it.
i believed i saw the entire picture.

but the first month is just the first glance.

your passing, your death, your absence
strikes me behind the knees at least three times a day.
i would fall over every time if i didn't have the dancing balance you instilled in me.

there are so many layers in this, Mother.

layer one: death scares me.
layer two: i am angry with god.
layer three: i am bitter with the world.
layer four: i am fragile.
layer five: i am frustrated because Cher's mother is somehow still alive and looks forty.
layer six: i am not ready to accept that you are gone.
layer seven: i am certain merlot tastes better than it ever has.
layer eight:  i am ready to shove every cigarette of every loved one into the ground.
layer nine:  i am trying to keep you alive within me.

where is your calming spirit?
where is your soft voice telling me negativity serves no purpose?

Mother, i needed help to see the toreador.
i'm afraid i would have never seen him had he not been pointed out.

i must train my eyes to look deeper than the surface.
i must train my eyes to be more like you.

i promise to find the toreadors.
with and without you,
i promise.

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