I think of the children who will never know, intuitively, that a flower is a plant’s way of making love, or what silence sounds like, or that trees breathe out what we breathe in.
Subscribe and Save up to 55%
I first met Nico at a gathering of country-club types. We two misfits clearly didn’t belong at such a party, where the other guests had doused themselves in so much cologne that we were forced to escape our host’s home to catch our breath on the freshly cut grass.
When both of us were fourteen days clear of getting over COVID, I left our New York apartment for the first time in a long while and quickly became alarmed. No one was on the street. This was in April, when tourists normally descend on Manhattan in flocks, even in our off-avenue neighborhood. But this year a tumbleweed would not have been out of place.
Earlier that same afternoon All-Star slugger Dave “The Cobra” Parker had revealed to me the secret of hitting: “Hit the fucker hard, and hope it goes far.” I keep this revelation enshrined in the same chamber of my heart where my rabbinical ancestors kept their favorite Scriptures.
Getting married, losing a child, singing in a choir
I used my legs and heart as if I would
gladly use them up for this,
to touch him again in this life
I drop by on a Saturday. Your mom lets you answer my knock on the apartment door. The cap of your gastrostomy tube is outlined against your unicorn T-shirt.
The cows showed up just as the world began to end. They were there when I returned to Minnesota from Manhattan, where I’d gone to pick up my older son after his spring 2020 college semester had been canceled.