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From Dust (Skyra Francesca Rideaux-Carencro, LA)

It’s our anniversary.  September first, we met in a garden filled with flowers.  She comes every year, holding a bouquet of forget-me-nots, as if that will ever replace her memory of me.  She always seems to blame me for the way the ceremony caused her life to change. Asking me to ask God why He couldn’t wait one more day. The loneliness is unbearable she says, the crying tiring, the questions always unanswered.  The solid marble between us never quite stifles her sobs. She cries and she accuses me of stealing her most precious possession, her rock, her reason for breathing. She always addresses me as father, daddy, or dad. Never realizing that the answers she seeks have already been given in the silences between her mourning. This woman, this girl, who carries her grief bottled up year after year, is my anticipation.  For when I feel her warm fingers trace the curves of my outer shell, and her soft lips kiss my marbled face, I feel worthy.  We both know that we can’t keep meeting like this, but for now we are each others’ surcease. I am the keeper of that whom she loved most in world, and she is my only companion in this life that is not a life at all. Today she seems that much closer to ending her journey’s to my garden. So I listen to her cries, the melodies in her voice, absorbing them with my entire being. I was born to hold that which has died, in order that the living may call to them in peace. I memorize the light brush of her fingertips against my outer shell, and immortalize the kiss that seals her pain, her love, her hope, and her grief. I seal it inside of me and hope that the God she serves delivers it for her. 


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