And anytime I see a photograph of him --
especially the beautiful one my brother took in November in Delhi, a week before the surgery. The one that's now in the living room, enlarged and framed, with a garland of sandalwood around it. The one in front of which my mother recites the Gita every evening, while smoke rises up in straight lines from the incense sticks,-- this door creaks open and a shard of memory escapes, glinting for a second, and cutting deeply. A stab of sharp pain. Sudden and startling.
or the one I took, two years ago, in a different world, in Alaska. Him with more than the normal hint of a smile on his face, hand around mom, who's bundled up looking like an Eskimo, beaming
I wince and shudder and turn my head.
And run, run far away.
Away from that door. A trap.
He's not coming back.