Implied and Extended by Kristina Moriconi
In the garden closest to the house, I turn over the soil each spring, stir up more glass. There are stories, things that happened here, once upon some other time. And what is broken gets left behind—Wedgwood Blue, hobnail pitcher in jade. Leaded crystal, the smallest shards, champagne flutes raised to toast whatever didn’t last. I collect the pieces, splintered and sharp, archeologist of a past I can only perhaps. Though it distracts me enough from the present to grant myself the briefest of moments to forget—to stop thinking about his daily infusions, about the scan and the oncologist who says ground-glass opacification, as if these words to describe my husband’s lungs might somehow make the instant less fragile than it already is. For how long will breakable define us? It is the coast of Maine the doctor draws on next, metaphor, language he supposes we might understand. I think maybe to tell him we’ve never been to Maine, to ask what it is he means. Instead, I close my eyes, imagine he intends to convey a landscape rough and rutted, this way radiation has eroded the tissues in the lungs of the man I love. But I consider, too, the notion of immovable, unyielding and strong.
Kristina Moriconi is a poet and essayist whose work has appeared in a variety of literary journals and magazines including Sonora Review, Brevity, and Lumina. She is the winner of Terrain.org’s 11th Annual Nonfiction Contest, her winning essay forthcoming in early 2021. Her lyric narrative In the Cloakroom of Proper Musings was published by Atmosphere Press in August 2020.