“Rose’s Lament” by Mehreen Ahmed

Daddy. Oh’ dad! What am I to do now? Malcolm? No nothing! He is but a baby. No. Oh this! This despair. This unbearable pain. The loneliness of it all. But Malcolm is still small. Who? What am I to do? Quiet. Listen! Listen to the music. It is but the music of silence. For life has completely gone out of him. Grey lips, Pale. He is so pale. Frozen like the still snow-topped mountain. His body cut out to melt. Pulverise in grave. Eaten away by moths of days go by somehow. But nightsOh how dark is it? How dark is it in that grave? Peter? Peter, can you hear me? The coffin was to be lowered. Swollen like a belly full of water. The river flowed. The shimmering silver. But look something sails, it sails but not in isolation. Multitude of swollen floating bodies. Floating like all the fallen leaves and the thin stringy water dripping barks of the poplars. Wake up! Peter please wake up. Look at our Malcolm. How he thrives in health . Who would take over Peter? All this wealth! The Gold! Yes the Gold. Who would run the business now? Malcolm cant! I cant either. John? What does he know? He doesnt know anything about running business.

Oh but you were never there. Look at me. Look me in the eye and tell me how was I to cope? Those lonely days have silenced our lives. Yours and mine, infidelity! That was it wasnt it? That the final nail in the coffin. Yeah?The dead giveaway! But I ran to the beach. I flung myself on the sand. I sink. Peter hold me. Pull me up. For Im lost without you. I never knew I was so helpless. Have you seen God? Have you seen my two mothers. Emma and Lydia. Speak to me Peter please. Show yourself to me? Have you entered the heavenly nether-lands of death.

Life. It thrives beautifully in a never ending stream of life after-death. Where there is no pain, no death, no fear in that kingdom of heaven. Peter I have questions for you. One too many to ask God. Eternal life. What would that be like? The ocean in the front. Shimmers of dark water of odranot down that way? Acheron? The river of pain. Through the powerful lenses of the lighthouse but…  the Cocytus. The wails never end. They never doWhen will I see you Peter? Will you come in my dream? There I see I see you nowa shadow an apparition come to tell me how I failed you. That strong smell of the skin balm. I can smell your odor. Your body odor does not beguile me. But Oh it does round and round the Oceanus. The laments of the widow down the Phlegethon down the depths of the Tartarus.


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