This feeling has something to do with pictures,
old photographs of people and places that are lost to me.
The feeling often comes when the moon is a sliver of ash.
It feeds on faint almost failing light.
Like certain translations of the Sermon on the Mount,
it makes Heaven seem an impossible dream.
Once it came with an old piece of newspaper,
a scrap in the bottom of a borrowed suitcase. It was part of an obituary.
Half a story of a woman’s life, the less interesting half about survivors.
As if her life came to nothing but a list of names,
people who may have known her well,
or perhaps they too would be startled by the second half of her story.
I remember the day we laid my friend Karl in the ground. The young priest
burned incense and played Ripple on the organ.
It took three heart attacks and a .45 caliber hollow point bullet to put Karl
to rest. The sound of that organ, the woody-sweet incense, the portrait next
to the closed casket, these images can come to me unexpectedly.
The feeling they bring washes over me, or pierces me, I struggle to find words.
It’s as if the best I can do is point to an old photo, or piece of obituary and say,
There, there it is! Do you see it?