Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Rabbit Hole

Holding your mother’s hand
while she is dying is like trying to love
the very thing that will kill you.

Loving the thing that can kill you
is like hating your fingers
because of how they can feel.

Hating your fingers
because of how they can feel
is like hating the pillowcase
because it smells like her hair.

Hating the pillowcase
is like hating the bed.

Hating the bed
is like hating things
that want to hold you
even as you sob into them.

Hating the things that want to hold you
is like sobering to the fact she will
never hold you again.

Sobering to the fact
she will never hold you again.
is like trying to keep loving
the things you know you can’t have.

Loving the things
you know you can’t have
is like saying Goodbye
and knowing you have to mean it.

Once a fortune cookie told me
that saying Goodbye is just a different
way of saying Hello.

Once I remembered reading
how Aloha is a word meaning
both hello and goodbye.

Once I remembered reading
how Aloha is also a word
which means peace.

Credit


Copyright © 2018 by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz. This poem originally appeared in How to Love the Empty Air (Write Bloody Publishing, 2018). Reprinted with permission of Write Bloody Publishing.

Author


Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz  is the author of several poetry collections, including How to Love the Empty Air (Write Bloody Publishing, 2018).

Date Published: 2018-05-09

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/rabbit-hole