by Mehreen Ahmed
Daddy dad! Oh what am I to do now? Malcolm? No no nothing! He is but a baby No Oh this! This despair. Unbearable pain. The loneliness. But Malcolm is still small. Who? What am I to do? Quiet. Listen! Listen to the music. It is but the music of silence. For life has completely gone out of him. Grey lips, Pale. He is so pale. Frozen like the still snow-topped mountain. His body cut out to melt. Pulverise in grave. Eaten away by moths of… days go but nights…Oh how dark is it? How dark is it in that grave? Peter, Peter, can you hear me? The coffin to be lowered. Swollen like a belly full of water. the river flowed. The shimmering silver but look something sails it sails but not in isolation. Multitude of swollen floating. Floating like fallen leaves and the thin stringy water dripping barks of the poplars. Wake up! Peter please wake up. Look at our Malcolm. How he thrives in health… Who would take over Peter? All this wealth! The Gold! Yes the Gold. Who would run the business now? Malcolm can’t! I can’t either. John? What does he know? He doesn’t know business.
Oh but you were never there. Look at me. Look me in the eye and tell me how was I to cope? Those lonely days have silenced our lives. Yours and mine, infidelity! That was it, wasn’t it? But I ran on the beach. I flung myself on the sand. I sink. Peter hold me. Pull me up. For I’m lost without you. I never knew I was so helpless. Have you seen God? Have you seen my two mothers. Emma and Lydia. Speak to me Peter please. Show yourself to me? Have you entered the heavenly nether-lands of death?
Life. thrives beautifully in a never ending stream of life. Where there is no pain, no death, no fear. But is it me? is it really me in that kingdom of heaven? Peter I have questions for you. One too many to ask God. Eternal life. What would that be? The ocean in the front. Shimmers of dark water of odra… not down that way? Acheron? The river of pain. Through the powerful lenses of the lighthouse but… the Cocytus. The wails never end. They never do…When will I see you Peter? Will you come in my dream? There I see … I see you now… a shadow … an apparition …come to tell me how I failed. That strong smell of the skin balm. I can smell your odor. Your body odor does not beguile me. But Oh it does round and round the Oceanus. The laments of the widow down the Phlegethon down the depths of Tartarus.