in a pink shirt the reporter speaks his voice ripe with excitement while behind him the Wave crashes over and over the same bodies flung like broken sticks which in an instant they have become bundled into body bags bulging on the shredded sand though when we return we’ll hear from one survivor in a wheelchair whom we glimpse smiling as the scene shifts to a woman waltzing across her kitchen dazzles as she holds high a ziplock bag not large enough for bodies no but fruit she says stays fresh for days.
In Religious Ed a nun once told us, “You should always make the sign of the cross before and after you pray. The first gesture opens God’s wavelength; the second shuts it off.”
I wonder if the sister knew how many nights I would lie in bed, panicked, wide awake unable to remember if I had signaled “Roger and out.” Odds or evens—heaven or hell. I crossed myself without stopping, hoping to land on evens or at least to interrupt the feed before memories of Linda Ursoni’s blouse and her fully developed fifth grade breasts bubbled forth from the back of my pubescent mind.
Even as an adult, I find myself playing the same game, while hoping that someday I might cross myself one last time and be done with it, but the deep need to hide always follows— in the name of the Father, and of the Son . . .