It was a day. I have few words at this time, but the implications of abstraction in the events of that day will leave me stifled and quiet again for countless more. It is baffling that I can sit and wonder if overwhelming guilt and the loneliness of personal responsibility can truly change a man, but with all that is good and bad and true in me will forever refuse to accept that the answer could ever be “yes.” When the only dust that remains has become the filter through which all of life that stretches out before us may see, I can only refuse and refuse again that someone so destitute will ever be able to see what life is like for us in the aftermath through that very same filter by which he had chosen to destroy.
While awaiting my testimony in an empty, grey room on Friday, March 28th, he tearfully plead guilty in a court of law. The only thing this proves to me is that any man will bend to his maker in a time of desperation. That is all. Nothing will change, and nothing will make our suffering worth it’s price in the end. It is a cold revision added as a footnote to the text of our story. It fails to add depth or meaning to an already bleak existence. It was a sacrifice in favor to the law so that the almighty judge may have pity on his double felony, imprisonable soul.
His sentencing will take place on May 9th. My son, at the age of six, is encouraged to prepare a victim’s statement which he may read to the courtroom before a decision is made. I haven’t much else to say, but for the first time in months I have felt compelled to write, and so I will leave you with the scribbles in my heart.
I have reached this apex,
yet I did not choose this climb
and I do not condone the ache.
What glory stays
after sweat and bone have left you.
What stories I pray
will rot alongside you.
I will tell my son to fold your papers
into little cranes
so that you will have made
that I did not touch.
But I am the one whose heart will ache.
And you are the one whose body will ache.
And he is the one forsaken.
And he is the one that must rebuild.
And he is the one deflected in prose whose poetry sang and died and crumbled and rewrote in the setting sun and tossed aside every wish a child of innocence should breathe because you alone denied him the spark to warm his cooling heart.
You broke him. Which makes you the worst kind of broken.
©2014 Jessica Stephenson All Rights Reserved.