I’ve logged more experience than most with simplicity and the complexity you discover inside simplicity, minimalism and asocial behavior, endurance and landscape.
Here is the truth: I think some deep wisdom inside me (a) sensed the stress, (b) was terrified for me, and (c) gave me something new and hard to focus on in order to prevent me from lapsing into a despair coma — and also to keep me from having a jelly jar of wine in my hand.
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She wouldn’t suck. She wouldn’t cuddle.
Her eyes rolled toward me, then away again.
I hugged her to my chest and ran
from the doctor’s office to the X-ray lab.
There they jammed her into a plastic tube
with her arms pinned above her head,
still in her white T-shirt, crying.
“That’s good,” the technician said.
“It expands the lungs.”
When they handed her back,
I wouldn’t lay her down again.
I slept that night in a chair,
holding her up so the mucus would drain.
In sudden, sharp focus, I cherished it all:
the sweaty spikes of her damp hair,
the rattling vibrations of every breath.
I hold no moments more precious than these,
the nearly unbearable,
a pain so pure, it was almost like happiness.