Winter in Denmark
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36 Winter in Denmark To be had by the sea. To return to the grave but find the grave empty. Unsure about most things related to loss, I say the body is a feast of memory when my father-in-law ponders the scars on my arm. He takes his two thumbs, rubs them over my hands inspecting each mark like the doctor he is. Such is the way of the great white Dane who tends to my skin like rain on a valley. Now as he grips me, his inherited daughter— whose greatest danger is the will inside her— a clarion calls from across the shore. At midnight he listens for his two lost sons, those thwarted princes who died without warning. I’m their age now despite their decade of absence. It’s winter in Denmark despite a dearth of snow. A fog falls on the slapping bay. I’m upstairs dreaming of his two dead boys asleep near his third one—the one who is breathing. Jon trembles with dreams he will forget in the morning and I run my thumb down the crest of his cheek. What is the mystery that holds his skin together? Why did the roast taste so good with the wine? Tonight, we danced. Then smoked under sparks that fell from the sky. They loved life, but left it, 37 while something inside me fights every second, yet here I remain. And the fighter is in me. And the future is in me. I see that now. I turn to my husband and say it. But it isn’t the story of a woman redeemed, forgiving her demons for throwing first stones. It’s the story of the dreamer on the road to Damascus, creating a savior from sand grains and light. We wake in the morning, board a plane to the south. Returning to the sea is like returning to a grave that’s been shot through with sunlight. The sea is so full, we begin to float. ...


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