It is the moment
staring out an old bedroom window
as I talk on the phone with my friend.
I see the red moss grow over roof tiles.
I see the sun fold over the fence
like a gymnast off a springboard;
a golden blur tucked and twirling
through the cold February air.
I see a cat stare at me
and I see my reflection
stare at me.
I see the cracked paint and the spider;
both descending the window sill,
with the same unmistakable grace.
And I ask my friend
what it comes down to
if she does in fact
the next time, if there is
a next time.

“It is the moment,” she tells me.
It is the impulse.
It is following through
when not a soul
can reach you.
It is not my fault.
It is not her fault.
It is not anyone’s fault.
It is the moment
that takes you.
“The impulse,” she tells me.

I agreed
with her. It has been tried
and true. We all know
walking over bridges,
walking along rivers,
walking straight into the sun
with no water to save the cells
we are sweating and
we are losing.

It is the moment
and nothing more.
To test our own endurance
until we finally know we have gone
our point of no return.
And it is here
and it is gone,
just as she was
just as she is.
Here and gone.
Back there, on the phone;
now, just a dial tone.

To think back on it-
To dwell on it-
To be that voice
on the other end
from her-

I haven’t been able to call her sister
since she did it. Though I’d like to,
I’m too afraid.
They were sisters. They looked alike.
What if she sounds the same?
What if she doesn’t?
Both possibilities terrify me
I’m too much a coward
to confront her blood.

Nobody saves anyone.
I was on my way to see her.
I suppose I still am.

I understood what she told me.
I listened and let her tell me.
Now, I am telling you.
It is the moment.
It is the impulse.
It is being alone
at the wrong time.
It is bubbling up
beneath the surface
of dried paint. The cracks
and the spider
descending upon our heads
as we lay in the propensity
of our deathbeds,
staring up
into shut eyelids.
Then, it is
the drip in the sink,
the leaky faucet,
and the unnerving drum
of our own heart.
It tells us we are still
here. Then,
the muscles
of our throat, swallowing.
It is not easy.
It is a tough pill.
It is that moment
heaved atop all the moments
that conquers them all.

“The impulse,” she tells me.
“It won’t be your fault.”

written on 08/05/2013 by: Matt Kane