Thursday, April 9, 2009

a hapless red

We've got a cougher on our hands. Cougher in the coffer, if you will. One who coughs.


It's Rose and Carl and Rick, Rick who is craning his neck to see better what it is and where and how bad.


Today has come upon them like a stick-up. "Father," they say in voices toned like infants, like fresh learners of language, "How you sputter! Eyes so red. Don't leave us yet! Or ever! But at least yet."


Babies; more babiness, always at times like this.


Father looks like one, one just pushed fresh out the womb, smacked-up looking and wrinkled. He's wearing the air mask like a goatee he could never rightly grow and won't. He has no words or way to make them feel good, not even a little better. All he has are the coughs and guilt for the fact that he never loved Rose or Carl or even craning Rick. "They came onto me like bad debt," he thinks, and then, "This death is too soon but not soon enough."


When he goes, shortly, he'll leave them nothing. Only a legacy of lies and play acting. A legacy so good they'll make a saint of him, a martyr of short breaths, and will polish the ornate gilded frame around his picture often. With fingers capped in raggedy nails (Rose and sometimes Carl's, covertly, stained a hapless red), they'll scrape tears from their cheeks as they move the rag around and remember.

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