I'm 3,000 miles away
slicing apples
in the kitchen
for the children
in the dining room.

Slicing them,
then placing them
in the bowl,
one by one,
just as I was
told to do.

I lose my attention,
break the routine,
and can only
stand and watch
as the very tip
of the blade
clean through
the skin
of my thumb.

I watch the blood
to seep out,
crimson pool
on the
formica countertop,

then feel
the quick unbinding
of the freshly
serrated flesh.

Drop the knife,
lift my hand,
suck the thumb
like a newborn

tasting the
of myself.

without warning,
you come to me,

your face,
your body...

You come to me,

and I allow myself
to realize
for the first time,

though I heard
the news
years ago,

that you are gone

for forever

It happened
in a flash
as short
and meaningless
as this.

A moment later
one of the boys walks in.

He stares at me
sucking on my thumb,
lost in my
of you.

"What are you doin',"
he asks.

Seeing him
staring, waiting...

"I need a band aid,"

I tell him,
my lips
dripping red.

"Do you know where
she keeps
the band

He smiles,
screams, "Yes!"

And runs out,

just like
I once

Los Angeles - 3/9/06