The dead haunt my photo albums.
There he is when his liver was not yet punishing him for drowning it in poison. The spark in her eye is still unclouded by deadly judgment. He poses with the suppressed cry for help just behind his upturned lips.
I am floating around somewhere past them, come to see the exhibit I pretend to remember as I flip through captured moments displayed against the inescapable glass that is time.
She’s there with them all, wandering through the pages like a gust of sandy wind.
Be careful not to breathe it in.
Subtle, really, how she became immortal. I am carried on the back of retrospect kicking, screaming my dissent. I do not wish to go there.
She beckons. I have no choice.
I cannot breach the glass. I am stuck between panes as I watch her float through these captured moments again and again and again.
Someone break me free.
She hears my whisper and laughs. Always mocking my need to be so serious.
Idiot. You are not stuck here. You are buried.
Buried beneath layers of disintegrated hope and threadbare ropes tethering me to empty spaces.
I am not stuck here. I am comforted here.
Wrapped in the softness of what was, I snuggle deep into her grave and watch the dead people come alive.
Here they are pure. Here they will not change. Here they will not leave. Here they will always remain.
Tomorrow, when the pressure of the living builds around me, I will dig through it all and take another step forward.
Today I am content flipping through the book of dead, watching my baby sister frolic in a field of captured memories.