Day 278 – . – (one year)

Sunday, June 5, 2011
Day 278
4:42 pm; 11:27 pm


With some, we crouch next to
their bed for years, attending to
eyes that have lost all cognition
on why our faces once mattered
and made sense in their lives

The only thing of significance
being how we are still there
to check in on the movement
of their chest from hour to hour

We look to see it rise, we wait
to watch it rest, and we call that
peace, when breath ceases to
make a difference either way

With others, like you, we’re caught
midstream while racing through
the pages of our schedules, the
minutes of our hopes and dreams,
running across the checklists of our
intentions and obligations, when
Death slams the brakes for us

We drag ourselves back to our
homes to find every room has
been turned upside down, not one
thing stolen, but our entire space
now ravaged, even the color of the
walls have changed and everything
has been touched by violation

Suddenly, in a panic, we rush
around, hoping to find the better
part of our meanings tucked
underneath the mattress where
we swore we left them, we search
the back of the pantry and under
the doormat, out of breath

Trying to find some semblance
of what we were doing in the first
place, every day, for the past
how many months and years, we
look in the mirror and witness all
parts of ourselves unraveling

We sit there for hours that turn
to days, until we begin to recall
our schedules, our minutes beg
us to return to them and we go
willingly, if only to remember how
to breathe properly again

The only solace we find is when
we memorialize and make more
promises than we may ever keep,
but we do it anyway, our pledges
the neighbors to our hearts, letting
us keep you even closer by doing so

Time passes until we say we can’t
believe how much time has passed,
so quickly, and we can only say
this because there is a part of us,
the strongest part, or the most
hopeful, perhaps, that has learned
to walk through the world, whole

I could say I feel mostly this way
an entire year after your passing,
yet pieces of me are still winded,
part of my spine, portions of my
lungs, nearly half of my gut and
my heart, are still standing, face
flush with the wind, at the side of
an open patch of earth, staring
down at your grave

(on this AOD…John Delloro, we miss you)


About traciakemi

traci akemi kato-kiriyama - inter/multi-disciplinary theatre/performance artist, arts educator, cultural worker, community organizer. Tuesday Night Project; theatre, performance, writing, and teaching projects with many organizations and artists including: zero 3; Edge of The World for Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia and the National Asian American Theatre Festival in New York; "PULL" with Kennedy Kabasares in San Francisco; Nobuko Miyamoto and Great Leap Collaboratory I; TeAda; NCRR; Oymun's 11. Playwright for "Chasing Dad - a performance of a reading about a play i'm writing" presented by Inside the Ford for the Ford's Summer Playwright series. View all posts by traciakemi

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