In Memory Of Captain Joseph Coluzzi 1954-1998 by Kathryn Coluzzi

Married for 180 days
formerly Kathryn Ann Stewart-McDonald

My husband and I lived peacefully in a village on Saipan,
and island so far from concerns of our Mainland, we thought we were free.
Free from the troubles which plague most of the rest of our strange country.
My husband was a good Captain at sea. He voyaged one day and never
returned home to me. I reported a threat and a fight which was seen,
but noone on Guam would reply to me.
I believe he was shot , the cause of his death was hidden from me.
The Navy refused to reply citing the private vessel which piloted
docked, though legally, they had no legal interest or obligation to answer to me.
The US Navy sent his remains to Germany, my screams heard by noone .
It was then that I died but my shell remained, a seawitch on Saipan blessed the
conch which had become me. I moved some time later to live in Washington, D.C.
Comatose I moved through the city, depending on who you ask it was a state of innocence or ignorance. Once I saw the woman, a screaming, shaking, skinny woman, sick with the new disease. That which she created with tablets to fill a place in her mind. I, in my superiority, knew the place well but had made it my own, and knew also it a place where all pain will naturally cease.
Her brain, unbandaged was leaking, as her tablets savagely profured her a new agony, the pain of need and desire to be satiated by a chemical, my neighbor, I knew was quite different from me.
My coma was profound ,my natural condition bolstered my confidence, assured me of my superiority
-the purity of nothing and no desire- a sublime feat excercised by my naturally numbed mind.
Flat lined emotion was all that was left after he was dead. My neighbor I could clearly see existed solely for a solution or solace
something to set her free. And I, of course, knew nothing would ever cure me. Her pain seemed to be superficial while mine quietly out performed her malady. My silence solid as stone. Her solution was scream, shake and scribble graffitt as she obscenely snarled her from her gutter on the days we passed on another on the sidewalk to our shared subway.
My zen a sober and silent song no one could hear. No attachment, no anchor, my distance a rogue wave, I resented her rants which interrupted the drone of traffic, sound in which I found some solace for the absence of the sea. His love a rolling wave I would ride before I surfed a wake of despair and defeat in some strange primal feat. My neighbor intruded on my reverie. I prefered to travel in my mind with a lullaby of waves, not visit the sound of the shaky, screamy, skinny skag head of my street, her solution a syringe – mine was a topaz sacrament.
Still there in the city I lived in a dream of my village by the sea
A reality too etheral to share
Where my indifferent body became coral leaving no space for offered love
and no desire could reach me
Drift by the reef of my existence- abysmal or catacylsmic
nothing to tangle seaweed in my hair
where love would not anchor and touch would never reach me
Adrift on the sea A strange peace Alone -and then I realized her screams were
more connected with humanity and in my grief my compassion and empathy
became the ghost of my memory

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