I take him in, sit in the waiting room until they call for him, help him walk slowly to the room and then sit in my car in the cool spring air into early summer heat, watching leaves fill and shudder in the trees, a spider spinning a web in my passenger side mirror, and look into the glass, searching for my father’s face in my own reflection. Feeling impatient and tense for him to finish inside so I can leave and watch him sob breathlessly and shake violently, freezing, over the next couple days before leaving him again and again.
cotton, silk gauze, wire, human hair, satin
Meanwhile my mother is in the kitchen by herself, raving about how good some leftover ribs are that she found in the fridge. I want to be sick.
laser cut silk organza, silk gossamer, dissolvable fabric, human rib, wire
I sit and watch him clench for air for hours, helplessly hoping with everything in me that each minute that passes is his last.
cardboard, tape, papier-mâché, cotton, wool, wood, silk chiffon, silk gauze, mica, acrylic paint
She inhaled smoke outside while he exhaled his final breath inside.
silk organza, dissolvable fabric, cotton, paper, thistle seeds, mohair
I sit in the alleyway behind his house, surrounded by the husks left behind of the deafening cicadas in the trees, staring at chipped paint in the doorframe of the garage. The warmth of his chest still residual on my hand, knowing they will both be cold soon.
silk organza, linen, wensleydale wool, newsprint, tape, wood glue, acrylic, cotton, fiberfill
I stand there in front of the bathroom mirror for too long, trying to see his face in mine again. His image flickers in and out, especially when I am sick. My flesh, pale and see through, with the veins under my eyes blue and visible. I mimic his death face some days and scream at myself for doing it.
laser cut silk gauze, found mirror
And in this post physical, sightless, fuzzy windy edge of existence, it feels like we are holding each other. Like our souls are embracing and I know that he is dead. It is vivid, that feeling. The heavy hollowness, being held and holding him, how a part of me feels that indescribable terror that is met by his loving touch.
laser cut silk gauze, wire, wood, peanut butter cup