This Sacred, Unthinkable Day

Time has no reckoning for the love I hold for you in my heart

–Deborah Garcia

When my beautiful son extinguished his breath in one swift act of misperceived remedy to sadness, his leaving was stretched over fourteen days of loss and ambiguity. It was excruciating. What followed a photo sent to a detective in a text message, was the initial nonchalant pronouncement, “Your son is not living,” from the police officer standing across from my heaving body in a room of my home. It was unthinkable.

Davin’s body was tagged and moved from the establishment where he did the deed, to a location I had no access to. It wasn’t like the movies where a family member is summoned to positively identify the body of a loved one. I wasn’t given the option to see him nor decide where nor how he would be handled. His death was pinned as a “suspicious crime”, until proven otherwise. While the police had confiscated his belongings and cell phone, my son was taken to a hospital morgue where his cause of death was excised. “Healthy male.” “Self-inflicted…”

November, 2020, opened into the second wave of COVID-19, shutting down in-person businesses and restricting human contact by numbers, contact tracing, and quarantine. This included hospitals, funeral homes, and restaurants. In addition, the UVM Medical Center, where I eventually learned Davin had been taken, shut down in a complete blackout from a major cyber data breach. Doors were locked, phone lines were silenced, and all non-essential procedures were ceased. For two weeks! If my rational mind could have gone on holiday, I might have had good reason to believe that this was all a Pagan hoax and my son was setting up a new life in Baja California, Mexico. Perhaps with his father. Their bodies were absent, obscured from all that is tangible, perceptible, sensible. And although I think, perhaps, it was better for my own survival to keep the imprint of my son’s bright smile unblemished by the image of his lifeless body, throughout my remaining years, I wondered, how can this be happening again?

With the assistance of a funeral director, Davin’s body was transferred to a funeral home on November 10th. Cremation happened on the 11th. His remains were finally interred on a rainy day, to a restricted gathering of fifty, beside his father in the family plot of the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery, New York, on November 13th.

Following twelve days of intense lamentation, on the morning of November 11th, in a chilled basement room of a funeral home, I spread my body over the box screwed shut that reportedly contained him, and sang our final lullaby, “I Love You Forever.” A melody I adapted from a children’s story book, that I used to sing to the boys when they were little, when we were four, and everthing, everything was beautiful.

DAVIN RICHARD GARCIA

April 8, 1993 – October 31, 2020

With deepest sorrow, we announce that Davin Richard Garcia, age 27, of Essex Junction, Vermont, joined his father in Heaven October 31, 2020, unexpectedly. He was born April 8, 1993, in Rockville Centre, New York, the beloved son of David and Deborah (nee Rieb) Garcia. He resided in the town of Freeport, New York, where he attended Lawrence-Woodmere Academy through the ninth grade, until his family relocated to the town of Essex Junction Vermont. He graduated from Essex High School in 2011, where he played clarinet in the wind ensemble, piano and alto saxophone in the jazz band, and tennis. He also played clarinet in the Vermont Youth Symphony Orchestra. Davin achieved musical accolades with the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) and the Vermont All State Music Festival, achieving first chair in Clarinet his senior year. He attended Babson College to study entrepreneurship from 2012-2014. He was a mentor and board member with the Teen Center of Essex Junction during his high school years.

Davin played baseball from the age of 6 to 16, playing high school baseball for two years before switching to Tennis. He played competitive tennis throughout his youth in the USTA Eastern Section, Long Island Region and New England Region. He was co-captain of the Essex High School tennis team in his senior year when he played an undefeated season as second and first singles, leading the team to state championships. He was a member of the Babson College tennis team during his time there. Davin loved flight and was a single clearance away from piloting his dream in the airline industry. He also enjoyed skiing, kayaking, boating, fishing, and rebuilding his car and boat.

            Davin studied piano for over 25 years, clarinet for ten years, and saxophone. He was an accomplished artist who enjoyed composing works blending classical, jazz, Afro-Latin jazz, new age, rock, rap, and other genres.

            Davin was an old soul with a gentle manner, who approached life with a playful humor that drew people to him through laughter, with love. Family, friends, and acquaintances will forever feel his loss, our loss.

Davin has joined his father, David Garcia, whose life was taken in the September 11th attacks of the World Trade Center. He is survived by his mother, Deborah Garcia of Essex Junction, VT, his brother Dylan of Brooklyn, NY, his paternal grandmother, Hiro Garcia of Wappinger’s Falls, NY, his maternal grandparents, Richard and Dorene Rieb of Moriches, NY, his Uncle Richard Garcia of Essex Junction, VT, his cousin Shina Ellis-Garcia of Queechee, VT, his Aunt Wendy and Uncle John and cousins of Dunkirk, MD, and a large circle of extended aunts, uncles and cousins. He is also pre-deceased by his paternal grandfather Stanley Garcia, and his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Rieb.

Davin was laid to rest in a family plot beside his father at the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery, Poughkeepsie, NY on November 13. A charitable fund TBA will be planned in his memory in the near future.

Davin, I pray that you find the peace you long for in the arms of your daddy. I love you forever, my beautiful boy.

© Deborah Garcia 2020
Images by Deboreah Garcia

The Leaving II

My son stands in the hallway 
                                                         my son knows what to say:


                                                        Is there anything else you’d like me to do mom? //
                                                                 No, you’ve done a lot thank you, I say.

My son stands in the hallway

                            his bronzy eyes sweep the floor

                                                          My son knows what to say:


                                                          I’m going out for a little while, okay?  //
                                                                Maybe if you return before dark, 
                                                                we can work on more leaves, I say. //
                                                           He nods – Maybe.

My son stands in the hallway 

                             stretching his arms long for a hug

                                                         My son knows what to say:

                                                          I love you mom //
                                                                 I love you too, I say. 

My son stands in the hallway

                               his bronzy eyes follow me to the kitchen

                                                             What shall we do about supper? I say //
                                                     I don’t know, I’ll think of something, okay? he says //
                                                             Sounds good, I say.

                                                      My son knows what to say:

                                                      I’m going now, okay?

                                His bronzy eyes shift sideways

My son stands in the hallway

                                                                 I say, Have a good day //
                                                            
                                                         He says: [                   ]
                                                                                           
                                                                        You too //  //  //  //  //  
                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                    bye //  //  //  // //  //  //
                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                 now  

About this poem

On the morning of October 31, 2020, my 27-year-old son, Davin, helped me prepare the house for visiting family by moving furnishings, placing things up high on closet shelves, and moving storage tubs. At 12:00 P.M., we stood in the front hall of our Vermont home and had this casual exchange, not uncommon for a Saturday. At 1:15 P.M. my sister messaged me that she was not going to arrive until the next day. At 1:31 P.M., I sent Davin a text message, “Your aunt won’t be here tonight,” so he wouldn’t have to plan a big meal. He didn’t respond, but I was unphased, thinking he was across town with his uncle watching a football game or working on a house project, as was a typical weekend for him. After a dusk hike with the dog, I looked at the clock and sent Davin a text message at 7:56 P.M., “Where are you????” Following an hour of phone calls to him, my other son, his uncle, and the hospital, a police officer arrived at my door to find a woman heaving in anxious fits. We searched his living spaces for hints, notes, a missing travel bag. We checked the phone plan log and saw his last call was at 10:46 am, to a local Inn. At 9:30 P.M. the officer says, nonchalant,HE’S NOT LIVING.”

My beautiful boy ended his life. Losing his father on 9/11, hiding a dark childhood secret, and living with depression for several years, the quarantines and shut-downs punctuated his feelings of hopelessness. He wrote:

“I’ve felt worried about our world in general, and it’s not getting better.”

© Deborah Garcia 2022, All rights reserved

IN CELEBRATION OF MY BIRTHDAY

‘The Foundation Fighting Blindness is a nonprofit organization that funds research for discovering treatments for inherited retinal diseases, like the retinitis pigmentosa that my husband, Dave lived with. Darkened of sight but not vision. Our future descendants are at risk for having this disease passed down to them. A legacy donation brings Dave’s dream closer to the edge of a cure. The light of the world is ever arriving.

For 21-years, I have made annual donations to the FFB, funding groundbreaking research in their mission to slow and eventually stop the progression of vision loss, develop state-of-the-art technology to improve mobility and independance, and provide resources for individuals and families.

October is also my birthday month, and I’m asking you to join me in this month’s campaign by making a donation to the Foundation Fighting Blindness.

https://www.facebook.com/donate/460925749438038/

Through the month of October, the FFB is running a campaign for those affected by retinal diseases to share their journey with vision loss through story. Blindness is not a complete blackout for everyone; it’s a spectrum.

www.Fighting Blindness.org/ShareYourVision

So, I am sharing pieces of Dave’s story on his behalf, through reportage and excerpts from letters he wrote to me when he was in his twenties.

Diagnosis

In 1972, David’s mother noticed he couldn’t see her in an airport terminal. She’d felt that it didn’t warrant significant attention at the time. He was 11-years-old. Two-years later, when David was 13, his brother noticed that he was having trouble seeing in the dark. “If we were outside in dusk and I threw David a ball, he’d miss it! I noticed he’d walk into things, even in daylight. I didn’t think much of it, so I didn’t tell mom and dad right away.” Then a neighbor noticed. She said to Stan and Hiro, “something is wrong with David’s eyes”, advising them to take him to a doctor.

“So I took him to my eye doctor, said Hiro (Mitzi), and he said, if you want a second opinion, go to Montefiore Hospital in New York City. After evaluating him, they referred us to the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, Massachusettes. That was it. David was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), recessive form.”

It was at this time that Dave was classified as legally blind, with less than 20% peripheral vision, aka tunnel vision, and night blindness.” Retinitis Pigmentosa is a progressive disease in which blood flow is restricted to the retina, and rods and cones disintegrate, resulting in night blindness and progressive loss of peripheral vision. He was given a projection for complete blindness by 40-years-of-age. There were no treatments or corrective lenses available to help him, only palliative devices, such as a white cane, a tape recorder, a therapist and a recommendation by the New York State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped to learn Braille. “Things began to make more sense, says Hiro. He had been bumping into things that were not too high, he just hadn’t seen it. We just thought he was clumsy.”

Letters

November, 1982

“I have had quite a problem with transportation. In high school, I was hurt a couple times by girls who broke up with me shortly after they found out I couldn’t drive (legally).  So for the longest time I didn’t care, I’d have occasional, meaningless encounters and be satisfied. That was all I needed, all I wanted. Life keeps changing.  Now I do want a little more.”

June, 1983

“I’m listening to a rather rare tune by Triumph off the first album called “Blinding Light Show/Moonchild”. It’s kind of two songs they combined. It’s real sweet yet powerful, something you should get your ears on if you can. “A naked heart is quickly torn apart and the burning grows… and the blind shall lead the sighted as we lose the candle glow…and no one knows tomorrow in the blinding light show…”.

From childhood opthalmologist, October, 2001

“I was always struck by David’s optimism in the face of his retinitis pigmentosa. Every time that I examined him, I left the room feeling that his illness bothered me and, of course, his parents, more than it worried him. I will never know whether deep inside, he considered his visual problems merely an unfortunate inconvenience, but nevertheless, his interactions with others was reflective of his ability to put aside this major adversity and move on with his life. This was an effort that not many people can achieve. It was always uplifting to speak with Stan and Mitzi about David’s continuing accomplishments – his education, his growing consulting business, his love of the outdoors and most importantly, his marriage, his own home and his growing family. Although the shock of his death is overpowering, I know that his good deeds and our fine memories shall always be there.”

Thank you for your gift.

Still Life with Mother

After Diane Seuss

My mother’s straddled atop a hydrant, 
her legs draped over the shield of the iron tap
each with its white ruffled sock. My eyes

are in love with her as they are with all
enchantments that cannot escape being con-
jured. She’s there to be seen if I want to see her,

as she was there in her floral butter-
wick apron. I was sixteen and she asked
if I would cook. “Do you want to learn to make sauce?”

she asked. Was it the mother? The escape artist?
My poor mother was deeded the imminent call.
She doesn’t look like she’s leaving, whatever it was

she was cooking up. She handed me a wood spoon.
As I write this, a notification pops up on my lock 
screen, “VOICES Together: A Virtual Gathering of the 9/11 Community.”

“Yes,” I said, “You can show me.” She said, “You have to 
brown the pork, add crushed tomatoes, paste, a bay leaf.” 
She washes the cans with Chianti. “A pinch 

of sugar.” Pepper, oregano, garlic, simmer, I don’t recall 
the metrics or if I secretly wanted to study history 
with Donald, but thought that “yes” was the only response,

or if I believed I should want to tie on an apron,
I think I assumed that my time with her could make 
my mother linger, and this lesson was all we had,

as if I’m hedging some sort of investment in
futures for what I wasn’t seeing then, and so, 
I lowered the heat, and simmered the sauce, hence

this little girl, suspended, wheat-blonde waves poodled in 
pigtails, her playful eyes, who reminds me of my sister 
when she was eight, when mother received the news

after a breakdown, it was metastatic breast cancer.
Young, fiery, her long browned and shining hair
falling to the sink. I didn’t want to see, 

and yet I saw. But the young girl, I am in love with her 
oversized denim culottes, the floppy, double
rolled cuffs, the look over her crouching shoulder,

and her glorious sparkle, angelic, poised
as if she could leap through the lens, forth,
forward, into the opening.

© 2022 by Deborah Garcia, All rights reserved

About this poem:

This ekphrastic poem is written as a homage to my late mother, Lizzie, on the occasion of her 79th birthday. The photo of my mother as a little girl resting on a fire hydrant in a leaping position, is one that I see every day. Framed, on an antique wash stand in my home, it gives me great delight. The glance over her shoulder, staring through the lens feels like a charm, compelling me to leap into the opening of the day, despite not knowing the metrics.

Borrowing Diane Seuss’ composition style in “Still Life with Turkey,” in which she weaves a dark tale with the image of the classic painting by Chardin, I exercised this technique to weave a personal tale of reminiscence and lament, through the bending light.

Elizabeth Rieb née Teseny: September 22, 1943 – January 20, 1982

Photo credit: Personal archive. c. 1951 – Likely taken by my grandfahter, Gus (FKA Géza) Teseny, outside of their Manhattan apartment on East 90’s Street.

COUNTERTERRORISM

after Kerrin McCadden

my husband’s portrait is in a collage behind glass on a museum 
wall of prayers his name is announced by the son who never spoke
it his smile is cast into homes of people we don’t know
his name echoes across a plaza where there used to be buildings
he’s a good dad who leaves his calling card in a kiosk
so we can find him I push two roses into the groove of his name
punched in a steel frame his sons lean over waters falling
into bedrock grit that’s spooned into a wood urn sitting on a shelf
behind the smoked glass of a cabinet that he built for his stereo
in his parent’s basement while waiting for a job interview in 1985.

I sign a custody document that has my husband’s name in Times
New Roman I call the medical examiner to claim his bones two messengers
in brown suits knock on my back door at 10 p.m. they tell
me about bones he left behind friends say they’re happy
that I have closure his nine-year old asks, who were those men, Mommy?
one rib is identified in February in May a portion of his scapula
matches the code in a Ziploc bag news bulletins report that
what remains is in a landfill with boxcutters and wristwatches his bones
are in a box with a Ziploc bag in a refrigerated trailer I’m invited for
a private viewing but I know he doesn’t want me picking at his bones.

his son cries on his spelling list because the other dads know
how to pitch baseballs so their kids can hit them just right
he has a birthday party where he takes tennis lessons I bake a cake
halved with a tennis court and a baseball diamond punctuated by nine candles
and one for good luck his son returns from school and sleeps
on the couch clutching a Matchbox car in his fist he doesn’t blow
out the five candles on his ice cream cake we open Christmas presents
mailed to his brother’s home I tell his sons Daddy isn’t coming home
God needs him he has good sons who build a tower and helicopter of Legos
and drop lines to the figures on the roof and snap jetpacks to their backs.

he is missing and I think he’s trapped in a subway tunnel splicing
wires together to put out a signal “we’re here” because he’s the
New World Man I make copies of a photo of us at his twentieth high school
reunion hot glue them onto red posterboard duct tape
them to chain-link fences and glass transit shelters a Red
Cross volunteer hands me a pocket pack of facial tissues a water bottle
and an apple New York Crime Victim’s Board hands me a check
at a folding table so I can make a mortgage payment the medical examiner
clerk hands my husband’s friend a slip of paper with a P-number
I drop his toothbrush razor and comb into a Ziploc bag

he’s taught his eight-year-old how to send an email to his brother
in Vermont a plane hit the world trade center I hope my dad
is alrite his four-year old gets off the bus from his first day
of school carrying a drawing of four stick figures holding
hands “my family” I kneel on the floor screaming Run David Run
his parents turn on their TV to witness his leaving I’m sipping
coffee at 9:03 a.m. I watch a passenger jet explode through
the south tower of the World Trade Center Big Bird stops singing
Good Morning Mr. Sun black smoke is billowing from an airplane-
shaped hole punched into the side of the World Trade Center

a passenger jet slices through floors 94-98 of tower one it’s the one
with an antenna on it I don’t remember which one his desk is in he’s
a good worker and hurries to his office instead of mailing
a disability policy he rides an elevator to the 97th floor I think
he’s listening to Return to Forever when his body explodes
into the fuselage of a 767 piloted by islamic extremists who rehearse
his murder in practice flights down the Hudson River where he motors
our boat to a lighthouse and jumps into the river to teach
his boys to ski the hijackers fly over the house where his mom prepares
his favorite soba noodles where he says, will you marry me?

our baby smiles as I snap his photo in the hinged doorway
of his first school bus ride he curls in a pink velvet armchair watching
Big Bird count to 100 by twos my husband rides the Long Island Railroad
to Penn Station he’s in a good mood because the train is
on time he runs up the street to the N64 bus and doesn’t
hear me shout I love you dear he helps our eight-year-old onto the bus
and says have a good day Davvie it’s morning the sky is blue
he hurries down the stairs and pours 2% milk into three bowls
of Cheerios he’s startled awake by the sun and verbally assaults
the clock commanding it’s late get my clothes out and pack sandwich meat in a Ziploc bag.

he’s restless and says I Love You thirteen times I ask what’s wrong
he tells me something feels strange I just want to hold you he’s synching
the to-do list and schedule from his Palm Pilot while the glue is drying
on the fractured parts of his son’s prized remote-control boat clamped on
a bench in the basement beside the Lego people waving flags forever
he takes a photo of his son holding a little league trophy
sand and tiny shells fill the pockets of his swim trunks he’s
a fun dad carrying his son on his shoulders into the tide
we go to a family barbeque he brings a toolbox to repair
a mailbox he walked into because he’s legally blind from the retinitis pigmentosa

he heard about when he wanted a learner’s permit he meets with our financial planner
and tells him we need a better disability policy and talks about
a will the babysitter is away he’s a good husband he changes
his work schedule to stay home with our boys on a September Tuesday
so I can begin a new phase of my career he takes the Hudson Line train
to his parents’ house where we meet for Labor Day weekend the boys
squeal over the edge of the bowrider he opens the throttle into the ebb
he packs a laptop duct tape and fishing poles in the caravan a photo
of us on a cabin porch in Maine with his parents and brother that
I glue-stick into a scrapbook collage and slide into a page protector.


About this poem:
This poem is a reel in prose of the present unraveling toward the last four weeks of Dave's life. The informal structure sans punctuation paces the chaos and gives all of the weight to the legacy of the character and the gravity of the loss.

© Deborah Garcia 2022, All rights reserved

VOICES 21st Annual Remembrance Symposium

VOICES CENTER FOR RESILIENCE

The 21st Annual Remembrance Symposium presented by the VOICES CENTER FOR RESILIENCE, takes place at the Downtown Marriott Hotel in New York City. This FREE event is open to the public to attend live on September 9th and 10th, via live stream broadcast. Click the link https://voicescenter.org/events/remembrance-symposium/2022 to register now. A zoom link will be emailed to your inbox.

This year’s program is presented in partnership with the Leadership in Counter Terrorism Alumni Association (LinCT-AA) and the International Network Supporting Victims of Terrorism and Mass Violence (INVICTM). The two-day event brings together distinguished professionals working in national security, law enforcement, victims’ services, mental health, compensation, and investigations in the aftermath of 9/11, as well as other international acts of mass violence.

September 11th, 2001 is more than a single tragic day that altered the lives of a countable number of people. It is a current event that is continuously claiming lives, advancing technologies to identify the more than 1,000 victims whose remains rest in a vault, and engaging families and survivors in hearings to identify and hold those accountable for the attacks. September 11th, 2001 altered how we travel, reshaped intelligence, counterterrorism practices and disaster response, and impacted forensics labs around the world.

Saturday, September 10th, I will be speaking in a moderated discussion panel in the first session, “VOICES Stories of Resilience,” scheduled for 9:15 – 10:15 AM. Victims’ family members, responders and survivors will share their stories – demonstrating the challenges they have faced and the strength and resilience that led to personal growth. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions for those attending both in-person and virtually.

Please, also join me and the 9/11 community Saturday morning, in a pre-recorded candle lighting ceremony, that will be played via Zoom at 9:00 AM, right before the the Stories For Resilience Program.

The sessions run from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Attendees are free to enter and exit sessions at will.

Warm Regards,

Deborah Garcia,

Wife of David Garcia, WTC North Tower, 97th Floor

VACATIONLAND

I have gathered the roses, I have 
tucked the brown bottle in my purse, I have
pocketed my mournful verse.

Maybe you think love is snapshots glued
on acid-free paper, bound
in embellished vacation-themed scrapbooks

I have put on my life vest, and climbed 
into the camp boat, facing 
the wilderness, and motored out

into the sunset. I have crossed the still-water and leaned
over the frame. 
I have emptied

Into the Great Pond 

© Deborah Garcia 2022, All rights reserved

About this poem

Our family has been vacationing the same week in August in the Belgrades, ME, since 1999. “This is the best place on Earth,” my boys always said. One year ago this week, my surviving son and I released some of my son’s ashes in the cove at his favorite fishing spot.

al-Queda Coordinator of the September 11th, 2001 Murders is Killed.

August 1, 2022: President Biden delivered a message, “Sunday, al-Queda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan, in a successful counterterrorism operation.”

News outlets report:

Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the terror attacks in the United States, the Justice Department said.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/us-conducts-successful-operation-significant-al-qaeda-target/story?id=87721122&cid=social_twitter_abcn

Want to know how this family member reacts? Read on, otherwise, scroll by.

Let’s not forget that the effects of the attacks on American soil, 21-years ago, is still claiming victims with over 5,000 deaths of responders and others who have died from cancer-related illnesses. Thousands of American soldiers have and continue to make the ultimate sacrifice to defend our nation from the extremist activity that continues to threaten our safety since that wake-up call. New widows and family members appear in my Zoom support groups, as the numbers continue to rise. The attacks of that fated day are the unceasing human tragedy that spans across generations, perpetuated and funded by a nation that fuels our rides, mines corporate American portfolios, and strokes par in our golf-courses. A murderous force that continues to unfold in the present tense. None of us escape the fallout.

Justice has been delivered.

Presiden Joe Biden, August 1, 2022

Has it? Is this “closure?” For whom? CLOSURE (Dictionary.com): “a bringing to an end; conclusion. The sense of psychological certainty or completeness.” Full Disclosure… NOT CLOSURE! This is not over! There is still more to come. So much yet to be done. We cannot sleep.

When Osama bin-Laden was extinguished in May, 2, 2011, nine-days before my late husband, David’s, 50th birthday, my phone buzzed, hungry for indemnification… “Congratulations. So happy for you? Can you have closure now?” Given reasonable latititude to the limits of human grief-speak, and sincere adoration for all of my family and friends, my response was then as it is now “Not Closed.” “Never Closed!” The love of my life is murdered, continuously, from a stage my sons can not not escape. An unyielding sadness my beautiful 27-year old boy, quelled, giving into the darkness, twenty-years later, exhausted .

President Biden, I feel gratitude for the intelligence and risks taken by our leaders and service men and women to hunt down and extinguish this monster. We can never forget. We will not lie down. However, this is not closed. We cannot forget. We will never cede the pursuit of “justice” until full disclosure occurs and atonement is made by the nations that conceal the truth. Then, perhaps, we can engage in a conversation of reconciliation and peaceful relations.

I will end with words captured in conversation with our six-year old:

Dylan – “Why can’t my Dad be here?

Mom – I don’t know, I think you should ask God that question when you get there.

D – How do we get to Heaven? I know, we take an airplane!

M – The souls of the people who love you, who are already in Heaven, come and get you.

D – So Daddy is an angel. I know we can’t see angels so that means Daddy is sitting next to me right now. Is Daddy sitting next to me mommy?

M – Maybe.

D – He is! (He’s sitting in Daddy’s chair at the dining table).

D – Why can’t God send him back to Earth again? Why can’t God just throw him down so I can see my Dad again? I’d rather kill the people that killed our Dad. I’d rather sue the person that killed our Dad. Even though it’s not just one person, it’s 100.”

Dylan, May, 22, 2003

THERE IS LOVE

After Sharon Olds “I Go Back to May 1937”

I see them standing at the nuptial threshold before their witnesses
She sees her groom smiling
at the verge of the nacre vault
the gloam blue waves climax like glistening
strands of diamonds behind his profile, He
sees his bride with a stargazer lily in her hair
standing at the fringe made of sand and stone,
the horizon still obscured all around her, its
white haze aglow in the July air,
they are about to wed, they are about to build a life,
they are young, they are hopeful, all they know is they are
naive, they would never break their promise to love
and protect each other.
I want to raise my hand from the gallery and say Hold On,
--she's the prophetess of courage ,
he's the king of tears, you are going to endure things
you cannot see, and do things that will terrify you,
you are going to explode into the theatre of the world,
you are going to sacrifice the innocence of children,
you are going to suffer in ways you cannot think of,
he's going to die--she's going to want to die. I want to call
out to them there in the late July afternoon glow and cry it,
her ravenous blue eyes turning to me,
her pathetic beautiful animal body,
but I don't do it. I want them to live this
day, cup my hand around the unity candle, to
curb the wind from the flame. I
clutch their hands like bride and groom
cake dolls and cinch the knot that binds them
at the marrow, like the rigging of divine ships, as if to
secure the load of gold in the
hold of their vessels, I say
answer to the calling of the love that
brings you life, and she will write about it.

About this poem: July 25th, 2022 marks thte 35th wedding anniversary of David and I. We wed on the lip of a Long Island cove, former land of the Massapequa branch of the Algonquin people, on a hazy, hot and humid July afternoon. Although the style of this piece was borrowed, the inspiration was bubbling in the dorm room of my writing retreat in Beverly, MA. All of the sensory, emotional, and situational elements are my own. My love for David and the sons we carried into the world is the legacy I have been assigned to carry and the gold I must share.

©: Deborah Garcia 2022, All rights reserved

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