After The Sun Meltedinspired by Aftermath by Elane Johnson

After the sun melted on the top hat of the Mad Hatter with Alice, outside the window in Central Park; after your doctor refused to talk to you, when you were behaving crazy, because the tumor had spread to your brain; after the doctor told us there was nothing more he could do; after you told me not to leave; after you napped and I went to the phone booth to call another doctor with an experimental protocol; after he said it was too late to try his program; after I hung up the phone and cried, staring at the tin ceiling; after I returned to the hospital room and screamed; after the nurse ran in and told me you were dead; after I crushed the cup of hot coffee between my hands in the lounge; after the doctor asked if he could do an autopsy; after I said, “Does that mean that he may not be dead?”; after I told him no: after I yanked on the bookcase that almost toppled in your mom’s living room; after I kissed your bald head as you lay in that box; after I hit the red stop sign in the cemetery with my fist at the funeral; after I moved into a loft with a view of the Twin Towers, where you had designed some of the machine rooms; after I watched the Towers fall I knew that there was really nothing to hold on to, ever.

Annina Lavees work has appeared in the Art and Literary Magazine Sandscript, and the Desert Leaf, among others. She has received grants from the Arizona Arts Commission and the Tucson Pima Arts Council, was a finalist in the Arizona State Poetry Contest, Jorie Graham judge in 2003 and attended the Squaw Valley Community of Writer’s program with scholarship. She’s an adjunct instructor at the University of Arizona in the School of Theatre, Film and Television and is currently working on a documentary.

Photo by Tory M. Taylor