In memory of Sara Garment
When I erased your number from my cell phone,
because you’d left this cellular domain,
sadness punctured through me since no bell tone
can make you answer calls, though you remain
in other realms, unreachable by cell.
There – freed from ailing cells – I pray you’re well.
Though you’re no longer where you can be called,
you still can be recalled – remembered –
and though by thoughts of death I am appalled,
the body’s destiny to be dismembered,
you’re remade whole again in recollections
till Love, I pray, calls us to resurrections.
Your voice no longer can excite the air
to vibrate out as sonic waves that foam
within another’s hearing – far from there
through mechanistic magic of a phone.
Your soul can’t use a phone sold at a store
but sends dream ripples from another shore.
Apparently my childhood form is gone,
most cells replaced since youth with frequency:
they daily die in billions, daily spawn,
yet somehow after cell swaps I’m still me,
feeling there’s more to us than cells, replaced:
though all your cells be gone, you’re not erased.
Cells are prison rooms and phones as well.
Connected cells can form a human being.
Confined to mortal cells, we’re apt to dwell
on them as jails. A certain thought is freeing:
we can connect without a cellular plan,
and even without cell phones we still can.
I’ve wondered at the root of all despair
and felt that it most stems from disconnection:
although there’s much in life that we can share,
we’re each a separate cellular collection.
Cells connect souls yet confine them too,
and now that yours are gone I’m missing you.
Your birthday was the last time that we spoke.
I didn’t know that talk would be the last
before your cellular connections broke
as to another realm your spirit passed.
I wished you then a happy birthday. Now
I hope you’re happy somewhere else, somehow.
In ancient times, when I turned twenty three
and found myself immersed a year in hell,
I sat and cried beside a fenced-in tree,
before a telephone was called a cell.
You were a stranger then, out for a run,
and stopped to try to help – angelic one.
In cells, a voice or picture can be saved,
to be displayed or heard another time,
and in my memory is still engraved
especially one image that’s sublime:
the first I saw of you, the look you gave me,
of care when I was sure no one could save me.
Since cellular connections can be poor
and cells are rigged to sicken and expire,
we suffer limitations, needing more
for contacting without a cell or wire:
our cell connections, destined to be ended,
can be, as you evinced, in love transcended.
A cellular nostalgia wouldn’t be
a fitting way of paying tribute to
the precious and tenacious memory
of such a special friend. Recalling you,
I want to try and pay a fitting tribute
with beauty to the world I may contribute.
Your sweetness, wisdom, humor, courage, care,
ineffable and much-missed qualities,
aren’t cell-tied any more: they’re everywhere
that we who love you harbor memories,
till we in turn transcend our finite cells
and greet you – hopefully – beyond farewells.
Mario A. Pita