Sometimes I wonder who you were, what kind of person you were. You were my father’s father. You are dust now. You are in the death of an ocean well.
This glow like an oil lamp through my window as I write on the anointed page, I thought of you tonight; a star-still night that moves enraged shores on a pioneer of darkness. You were in a dark time. Slept through the metal, the blood, and the strange perverseness of a dream. Maybe night terrors. It was most likely PTSD from a war that did nothing but ruin good men. A shelter of fusion, white as bone, and red as arteries that accompany you in the whispers of the snow, poetic in the bruised blossoms masked in silence; and a dream of life.
Your voice is like death. Your skin is death. Your hair is death. To be part of the blue you are now, we don’t even know how you went. You were very sick, my mother had told me. Eyes a tulip shade, stillness that could be mistaken by the dead birds—a mirage of an unfolding past. You make me think of a tree and life. How strange. You’ve been abandoned in fragments in memory—it’s like sand. You kick them in the waves, and they thrash around in the waters until they are forgotten into the beauty—the beauty of the ocean. You’re a droplet off the planet, abraded by torment and tragedy all throughout your life. Gone. Then lost. Fragile in the small breath of the world, a temporal feeling of sorrow bubbles behind my face, rived like a rock.
In a hungry expanse of the dry and winter of the season, I remember when my father told me I spoke to you on the phone once. I remember something like that, I pause, but it is empty like the wings of a moth; and at times, I must have confused it to talking with my uncle. I was a child, five or six. It doesn’t make a difference as I was entombed by a hazy detachment—obliviousness. My memory is dislocated on this. Thrashed around like the wind that becomes colder, a spirit to the shadows by the blackness of a fruit bush. Shards of your person, you’re a ghost in my head. You’re small bones in a coffin. You were pursued by the hunt of a war that took your mind. There is always an impracticality of humanity when I think of you—it blossoms like a tumor that you were here once on the same planet as me. Existing. Lines crossed once but never again. You exist in the words, in the pictures, and in the letters. But, somehow, you never existed to me as real. You were a figment, a reeded shadow that burrows itself into the twisted grottos.
You were my Grandfather.
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A/N: Listened to this while writing. It made me think of my Grandfather, inspiring this piece.
Also for reference, my Grandfather served in Vietnam.