Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Her husband’s ideas were always bad. Like putting ketchup in the pasta sauce. Bad. Getting married at all. Bad. Having a baby. Bad. Breathing. Bad.

But he knew what it was like to know pain. And if someone really knows that, it’s almost impossible to disagree with any word he says. As a lie left his mouth, he’d just look back at her with all the hurt in the world, hurt spilling over cheeks, down across the deep into the valley of his mouth. All falling inside where there was an endless pit that pain had carved. She couldn’t fill that with truth. She couldn’t even try.

When they first fell in love, he said things like, I like to imagine the sun is a peach, and if you stare into it for too long or, maybe at all, your eyes grow fuzz. Fuzz you can’t blink away.

And that’s when pain was good because it meant you knew things that you couldn’t say. That was before he told her that he had no idea how to spare anything.

It would’ve been nice to know that first. Since it was all she’d ever learn about him. That and what hurt did to ideas. It made them bad.


He was seventeen then. Seventeen for a whole year, that’s how things go.

He was in love with a girl, a girl who bled and bled and could never stop. So if a rose pricked her finger, she could be in the hospital for a week. And they’d have to give her new blood. So, he gave his blood, all the time. It was mixed with all the A/B blood from everywhere and given to her through a needle cursed into a vein down spilling across corridors of lungs and the chamber of the heart and out again if she bled again.

And when she did, it didn’t stop.

The blood was bad then. I don’t have to tell you why. But some people knew it and didn’t do anything about it because that required pause and tests and thoughts. And when someone is bleeding, you don’t think. You just wish, wish for it to stop. Wishes usually clot. But they didn’t. Not for her.

He often wondered who’s blood was bad. Maybe it was his. But no. No. It was someone else. Someone she never knew.

Death was slow then. No one knew how slow it could be. He was nineteen when she died. Nineteen for the whole year. And they knew what it was then. But that was when they wouldn’t say it. Back when death was death and death made sense. There was a time like that, but he was seventeen then.

They met when they were nine on one of those roads that only had a schoolhouse on it.

They walked across the street from each other to school and then back from school. And didn’t say a word. That went on for years, until the day she fell. He looked both ways and rushed across the street. She was lying there, holding an elbow. And she told him about blood and blood and blood and blood and blood. Blood was the end of that story.