Dan Kang

First Encounter

“Don’t be too shocked”
I brace for the worst
“She talked about horses”
I brace for the worst

That familiar stench
Sterile death
I see her in the distance
The lone, lying figure in a crowded room

She turns
No words
Just pain in her eyes
Mouth opens
No words
Just pain in her eyes

Does she see?
Does she understand?

Does she know who I am?

But a skeleton
“She weighs 80 pounds”
Skin and bones
Skin and bones

Grandfather, sister, and I
We speak
We crack jokes
We laugh
No response

A shell