Buried in the deep snow, and tasting flakes of non-existence,
as real as the wet, whirling beasts in his vanishing brain cells,
chimeras emerging from the secret storm within,
he suffered a death before death.
Strangers gazed at him and saw a peek-a-boo man, clothed in
a shroud of non-identity, a ghostly veil of human emptiness, a
void of death before dying.
I saw a man named Father.
Helplessly, I watched him vanish into a frozen time capsule,
swaddled in an ancient cloth of random, remote yesterdays,
a straight jacket of unbearable restraint.
Yes, I witnessed his death before death.
He disappeared in front of me, our distant eyes separated at times
only by inches. Yet he was far away, his dark, vacant eyes
revealing the abyss in which he dwelled.
My soul-severed eyes darted and flitted back and forth, between
the lost space that connected us, reaching out to his dying soul,
clinging to and clutching his mutilated spirit.
Yet I could not save him.
Before his final death, the snowstorm swept mercilessly across his
private, bare wilderness, until the blizzard buried him deeper in the
Yet occasionally, he was reborn for a few seconds or minutes,
resurrected, perhaps, by chance neural connections.
We’d say hello. Sometimes, he grew a big fat smile, revealing
his precious gold teeth. His eyes were real until they became
And he died once more.
In his heyday, he was a fierce, ferocious man who did not know
how to love or be loved. We raged against each other. But in
the end, I loved him.
I witnessed his horrific death before death.
Strangers saw a peek-a-boo man.
I saw a man called Father.