Three Days

Written by  Kassandra Konecny

There are eight large hospitals in municipal Salt Lake City.
I can count them on my fingers:
LDS, St. Marks, University, Regional...

My baby brother died in a hospital. Half-awake, half-alive, he never cried; the world never gave him reason.

An old couple asked me for directions
though they were closer to one hospital than the other.
Pointing west, I asked, Who's dying?

I was at home when he died. I didn't watch my parents hold him while the life support dwindled.

"We want to make everyone comfortable..."
Fifty seven percent of deaths occur in hospitals,
and, still, the nurse had to explain to me:
" members die here."

If Rachel has two cups of grief and Johnny has three, how many are left when Johnny dies?

My brother lives here.
He lives in the apartment next door
where a child cries in darkness.

Can you grieve for someone after knowing them for three days?

I lost Johnny when he punched a hole in the wall, but the maintenance crew patched it twelve minutes later.

My brother lives in the smell of the hospitals I visit.
He lives in his own absence.

I don't know this city. It's as unrecognizable as my family

"The founders of a new colony, whatever Utopia of human virtue and happiness they might originally project, have invariably recognized it among their earliest practical necessities to allot a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery..."


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