Remarks at Rhonda's Life Celebration
And So It Happens
You begin to say good-bye to the pine floorboards,
to the posts and beams that hold the house together.
But you cannot say good-bye to the walls:
they still hold you
as if they have become your back, your arms,
as if they momentarily hold her here in the house
on the couch, where she has begun to disappear,
the pillows absorbing her, her body hidden, emaciated;
her only words in the night as she dreams:
I want the restaurant,
I want to go to the restaurant.
Her arm reaching up.
Does she reach for the dead,
gathered in the trees above the roof of the house?
Or is she reaching for you?
Speaking to you?
This good-bye of the body
this good-bye after the friends have left,
their flowers and wine bottles scattered
on the tables and windowsills
as she travels
closer to the ceiling
than the floor,
closer to the ocean
to the sky,
closer to there
than the couch
in the body of her house.