Comfort me with your quanta;
nothing is lost
Because nothing was
Ever found. I wish to believe,
Tell me there were only
Electromagnetically charged empty spaces
Where I once knew their faces
And surfaces of skin to touch.
Persuade me they are not dead.
What phantom assurance is memory-
My grandfather's wind-up clock
That sat on the heavy wood
His overstuffed couch that swallowed me to sleep,
And the crisp toast he made
In the gas stove on Sunday mornings?
Tell me my ache is mistaken physics,
And I will ask you
His morning oatmeal with me
Fifty years ago.
Console me with
Wrap me in a goose down of indeterminancy.
Metaphysical relief will dissolve
Into rude tears, though,
Because my father who played the violin
And taught me so imperfectly
About being a man is dead.
His absence is more palpable
Than hardwood floors.
Death creeps so slowly into fact;
I find no balm in quantum leaps.
Part of my flesh is
My life has become an assortment
Of phantom limbs.
If they are not
Why cannot I bear
To be certain
They are so entirely gone?
All correspondence should be addressed to Howard F. Stein, PhD,
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 900 NE 10 Street, Oklahoma City,
COPYRIGHT 2001 Appleton & Lange
COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group