You asked us to take you for a walk in Central Park because you wanted to see the change in season. By then you leaned on a cane and stumbled. We walked on either side. You looked like an ancient monk, but this was no Chinese painting.
The weeping willows bent low over the stream; you leaned over the edge of the bridge. The world was turning green. It had rained the night before, and the new leaves shone gold in the morning sun. It seemed as if we were walking inside a dream devised by a demon.
We had stopped counting the days and months. There was no sum. It was the second spring, and in two weeks the third brain surgery would begin. You said the brand new Nikon you carried on a strap on your shoulder was too heavy a weight to bear and accidentally left it on a rock. You asked us to go find it but could not remember where you stopped.
I remember standing by your bed staring at your shaved head swathed in white bandages. Words were trapped inside your tongue. You assured us that consciousness continues after death.
It was not only the Nikon that was left behind on Gapstow Bridge.
The dirt on the mounds of snow had turned to mud. The snow was melting. You rubbed your eyes because the stream was a blur and said you needed new glasses with stronger lens. You hummed a tune from a musical comedy from the l940’s but you could not remember the words. Syllables and vowels were mixed like soup inside your head and syntax had flown away like a bird. A crescent moon floated in the sky. One star winked its eye. You leaned on the railing to look over the edge. The weeping willows were about to bud. It was a time and season lacking rhyme or reason.
Is there a common language of the dead? Do you use consonants and vowels? Do you remember subjects and verbs or know what end rhyme is? Do you whisper or shout? How can I translate?