Dedicated to Fred Rivera and the power of the written word that rewrote him.

Tell yourself the truth. Death never is the end of the story.

He wasn’t dead. He was living on the other side of town, or country, or the shadow of my heart. Still breathing, wrapping himself around my wrists, my train of thought, my home life. She wasn’t dead. Her picture in my bible even though I’ve screwed this relationship forty ways away,  and I’ll never be worthy of her. This situation is not dead. I buried that root down down down and covered it with my pride–a gracious manure, and I’ll never let go of my hurt.

All dead.

Despite being alive.

Alive in the hurt that comes up in conversation and passing thought. Sipping on pissed off frustrations and hurts of the lengths one will go to move on from that place of where it died. But it is alive. This “it” has a face and a name, and it sits on your heart, giving you skin problems and funky breath when you speak love. It is alive, waiting on you to forgive yourself.

He is alive. Risen. Woke up with a toe tag in the stick figure morgue of secrets and lies and I can not for the life of me say anything different. He is alive and I am shocked to see his face, hear his voice call out over the lines and say, “my n______”, like I didn’t move back to California and shrine him up in my heart because there was no way I could repay him dying for me. On the ground in the jungle, or on the cross in the place of the skull.

Oh Schroedinger…

Dead is not dead when everyone around you surrounds you with proof of life. He is alive in your broken memories of him, his is alive in the book you wrote about him, which found him in Detroit, memorializing you too. She is alive in the apology you wrote, sent, and never meant. She resurrects in Facebook posts and friends’ stories of visits–children born and bearing, and she had the nerve to move on from where you thought her dead.

Swim in the life of the truth and tell yourself about dead being dead to you, and how the passionate hatred means death, when it really means life. When the eulogy of 276 pages that told the truth. He died. But that wasn’t the end of the story.