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Flood

 

Pour water into a cup until it overflows

Until it fills the room and the room overflows

Until it fills the house and the house overflows

Until it covers the world and the world overflows

Until there is nothing but water.

I. Duration

 

My mother was in hospice for over a year. In that span of time, every day was the last day. 427 last days in total.

 

She never left her bed. She lay there and witnessed the arrival and departure of nurses, counsellors, family members, the evening news, trays of food, diaper changes, the passage of light across her room, the darkness of night, her dreams.

 

In the last of those last days she started to do things like obsessively run her finger over her iPad, or curl and uncurl her oxygen tube, and question the difference between what was real and what was not.  Her mind was dissolving.

 

The slowest dissolve.

 

In her last seven days she didn’t eat or drink. She was unconscious for most of it, except for one moment, when she stirred and started mumbling.  I used a wet sponge to gently remove the layers of dead skin from her lips and the dried saliva in her mouth. I sucked water up into a straw and held my finger on the top to hold the water in place, and then gently dropped it into her mouth until her tongue unstiffened enough to move.

 

“You are so kind.”

 

These were her last words.

 

She passed again into silence and unconsciousness for her last three days.

 

In her last hours, her feet were black and she was breathing with quick shallow breaths.

 

I crawled into bed with her, played music that we loved, held her hand and waited.

 

The time between her breaths grew longer and longer until they stopped completely.

 

This was her last breath. It was quiet and subtle.

 

In order to confirm that death has occurred it is necessary to check the pulse for one minute.

 

We sat in silence as a nurse gently placed her finger on her neck and watched the clock on the wall.

 

This was my last minute with her.

 

Try this: 

 

      Sit in silence and hold your breath for one minute.

 

How much time has passed?

 

What is its duration?

 

 

II. Proposal for a film

 

The image of a window overlooking a lake. Day passes into night in a time lapsed loop. Repeating.

 

The film in the projector starts to disintegrate.

 

The image on the screen condenses and dissolves.

 

The slowest dissolve.

 

The screen condenses and dissolves.

 

It drips onto the floor and gathers at the audience’s feet. Their faces are reflected in it as they look down in curiosity.

 

It evaporates and lifts into their mouths, throats and lungs as they gasp.

 

It is passed between their lips as they say things like:

 

“What just happened?”

 

and when they kiss their beloved goodnight

 

 

 

if even from a distance

I vile wash it mono you

I live a wish on tom you

I wish to live any umoo

I tishy volie wamo on u

I tole vitna how sulmy

I mole na tiv show muly

I I a nom sole tivy woho

I aim no so ely vit ho wu

I main soo vely it o wuh

I ma in so olev yit wouh

Im a so in vole wit youh

I am so in love with you

 

(but sometimes my words stumble)

Proposal for a Mix Tape

Side A

1. A snowflake forming

2. The moment between a thought and an action

3. An empty room

4. The songs of worms

 

Side B

1. The dilation of a pupil

2. The formation of granite (excerpt)

3. The distance between two things

4. A sigh

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