Today you’ll work in the room behind the barn. For years there’s been a stain on the sheetrock where the rain drips in, and the place smells of rot, and when the other day you yanked off a chunk of sheetrock, thinking might be rotten wood in there, thinking you’d maybe have to replace a few studs, you found, in that damp place, everything rotten.
The Islamic Republic? George W. Bush? Both answers feel like evasions.
A woman laughs
and my daughter steps out of the radio.
Grief spreads in my throat like strep.
I’m the last sister standing — but tonight I mean to lie down, to practice being in the box
I was sure that I had failed my mother, unable to keep her in her home, as I had once promised.
Giuseppe, a simple shoe-maker,
who never learned English, stood
banging his head against the wall,
cursing God in his native tongue
Look at me, writing circles around what I must face:
The man I love is dead.
Between this and that, my wife, my dear little cowslip,
was misdiagnosed with heart failure and everything I loved
lost its pigment. The old reds weren’t red anymore,
the rose bushes on the path by the river had lost their pink
Directed by Martin McDonagh and starring Brendan Gleason, this film, which mixes darkness and humor, won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.