My father’s eyes; do I know you? The excision sears, recent, a welt on my heart. You think you know me. I see that flash of recognition. Only fifty when he died. Your face is raddled. Sixty if you’re a day. You can’t be him. He was sure of himself, whereas you…
A hand on my shoulder.
“Carrie?” I clutch at her elbows. Her eyes shimmer, her jaw tightening on a wound inflicted.
“No, it’s me, Jane.”
I shake the senselessness of her words away. “No games, Carrie!”
She hangs between my hands and sobs.
“Dad,” she pleads.
Dad was single-minded, knew himself.
“A thirty-eight,” he said, weighing it in his hand, “makes a bigger hole.”
There’s no hole in your head that I can see.
“I don’t know what’s wrong,” I say to the approaching nurse. The nurse cradles her. My hands become fists.
“Dad!” Her face is all angles.
“Nurse?” I bark, catching your eye. You say it with me.
“What about Dad?”
“I can’t do this,” Carrie whispers. I grasp her arm. She pulls away so I grip tighter, her face pinched now, afraid. My knuckles whiten.
“Dad’s gone, Carrie,” I say.
“I’m not out of my mind,” he said, “but it’ll soon be out of me.” I hear the echo, like something snapping in my memory.
Men are here, prizing my fingers away. We stumble about. Where did they come from? I look up and you’re there, teeth bared.
“I’m your daughter, Jane. Remember? We did this yesterday!”
I look away from her, head shaking, a kaleidoscope in my brain, and you’re there still. Your sneer taunts me. I punch at you, watch you buckle, dissolve into a deluge of silver shards. I look at the jumble, then the empty frame.
It mocks me.