“Immortality in a Song,” “Meditation,” and “Repose”

Image
Photo by Alla on Adobe Stock

Immortality in a Song

The song begins—

the first beat calls forth

an aroma of strawberry syrup

from your vape as its smoke

dances with the music, past my nose,

and out through the windows

of your 2012 red Toyota Camry.

The pulsing rhythm

of the reggae version of “Wild World”

recalls the undulations as the car

bounced along the pothole-ridden road

that stretched behind the Sonic and the Lowe’s.

The back roads, you told me, were the only

way to go to avoid the traffic of 190.

Maxi Priest’s voice

resurrects your own, your right hand lazily

guiding the wheel while you sing along,

smiling at me behind your cheap

gas station sunglasses that only

reflect my face when you look at me.

Always hiding, always concealing.

I wish  I could see your eyes.

They were brown, deep, emotive, playful.

But when I look at photos of you,

they’re never quite the same

as the image my mind projects.

I strain to recall your voice.

Your laugh. The exact contours

of your frame before the diagnosis.

Before the radiotherapy and the medicine

that you said was worse than the disease itself.

Before you stopped driving me around town

on a lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon.

Vanilla cokes and fried mozzarella sticks

and this song as you drove.

Before you stopped leaving the house.

Before you stopped talking.

Before you stopped eating.

The song ends—

your ghost lingers in the silence

following the final beat,

just as the world stood still

for a tiny moment

after your final breath

left your broken body

and your spirit lingered

for an ounce of time

before mother and father and I

accepted

and silence took hold

as it does now,

at the close of your song.

I press replay.

Meditation

Breathe in.

Feel your lungs fill with oxygen.

Listen to the calmness within you

as your heart slows to a steady rhythm.

Relax.

Forget the struggles of quotidian life.

Forget where you have been and where you are going.

There is nothing but the here and now.

Embrace it, hold it, acknowledge it

before it, too, drifts from your grasp

and joins the River of Time

flowing ever faster to the irretrievable past.

Breathe Out.

Release the withheld tensions

clinging to your body & soul.

As your muscles relax with the flow of breath

feel the lightness in your spirit

Away from the chaos,

away from the noise,

allow yourself this one small moment.

Be unreachable.

Be at peace.

Repose

No traces of reality

mar your peaceful brow.

The frowns and furrows of yesterday

retreat into another realm.

Sunlight pools across the bed,

light and shadow caress your face,

soft and smooth, like it was before

the anvil came down and crushed.

In and out, your gentle breath

lulls you in your dreams.

Your broken heart beats on

unaware, for now, of the breaks.

About the Author

Hannah Baker

Hannah Baker is a New Orleans native currently living in the Chicago suburbs. She obtained a BA in English Literature from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Juris Doctor from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. She has had one poem, "Disconnected," published on the Humans of the World blog and has two self-published novels.