The names all run together. There have been so many. Haldol, Thorazine, Stelazine, Prolixin. The gods, and their small, pale wives, Artane, and Cogentin.

None of it touches her. She stands like a dry stalk. She has lice in her hair and her eyes are black polished stones, two holes. Cut from a white cloth. Ghost eyes. 

She could whistle with her fingers. Loud. It hurt your ears. She liked Eddie Cochran and root beer, she was bad at math. She could draw. 

She could not sing. 

Visiting days I sat at the table, ninety-three, it’s a hot one, Kevin says hi, Joan is expecting and the dog just had kittens the world ends tomorrow and they finally put in a stoplight at Main and Gayoso. 

She says nothing. A half-lie. She stares, like something you see in a cage at the zoo. 

Look in my eyes. Tell me why I should miss you. 

I said everything twice. In the end I said nothing. 

A white truth. 

It hurts my ears.


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