In the beginning of life was my mother. And my mother was with me. I thought she was God. To us was given a garden. I saw that it was good. Amidst the flowering fruit trees, she was endlessly beautiful.

The first killings came by day, heedlessly, later. They cut slices of my life ten years at a time. Faces disappeared long ago returned to haunt my nights. The longing was insidious. They were too many. Could I have brought them back by impersonating them? And act as an impostor?

How could I have guessed I cared so much?

I should have been attentive. I should have known. I should have been warned about the ways of absence, that it is not a void. Absence draws features once cherished behind one’s closed eyelids, swells the ruined bodies of past beings, causing them to return, move aimlessly at the heart of one’s dreams, wander through the lingering want that dwells there.

How does one stop all this?

What are the steps to heaven?

Who holds the key?


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