Friday, June 30, 2006

"Her Heart, Pressed Between My Fingers"

By Karen Campbell

I told her “if your heart had been stronger, you would still be alive.” She didn’t answer.

I see her again, day after day. In her hand she holds a flower. She gives it to me. It is the only one I’ve ever had.

I try to think if she is better off. It doesn’t matter. I used to hold her heart in those days, press it between my fingers to keep it beating. In those days, I thought I could will anything to happen.

Now my thoughts are here: her nose wrinkling, her brown eyes. The carrying on of everything, while all that I’ve ever known is falling away. Is this flower supposed to help? It’s the most fragile thing of all. Talk to it. It withers and decays and falls away like dust. Am I supposed to love it? Why would I want to if I’m going to lose it anyway?

Because the sun is on it and it is beautiful. If you don’t know that much by now, forget it.

I said recently that I wasn’t sure about the resurrection. I don’t know if that’s true or not. Not the resurrection, but what I said. As I said, I don’t know anything. Douglas is gone, too. And Tom. I keep thinking of what Willis said: how bad can it be?

Karen Campbell is a writer living in Troy, New York. She works for the New York State Department of Labor. We

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