In Kentucky the summer nights are thick and wool-like. They wrap around you too closely, with too much familiarity. You find it hard to differentiate your limbs from the air that hangs about you like held breath. This is the closest you’ll feel to suffocating without actually suffocating.
I remember Kentucky like it is a dream I never want to return to. It is so surreal to me now; almost like an Atlantis, slowly being erased by the ebb and flow of time. I think about the graves planted like flowers in the yards of country homes there, sprawling and stony, typical as a daisy. I find my thoughts of death are surrounded by bluegrass and fireflies too. I feel like I am losing my mind.
I remember chewing on the thought of my uncle dying when I was a kid. It was a hard one to swallow. I was so angry when he held me in his arms and told me he had AIDS, that he would be leaving me here on earth to figure things out on my own. I didn’t understand how someone could die from loving someone. But that is what my uncle did. He loved a man that gave him a disease that killed him. To me this proved that intimacy killed. I remember a portion of the AIDS quilt coming to my school only a year or so after he passed. I found his square and wondered at the hard concise lines.
I am thinking of Kentucky because I feel it is dead to me. I can’t call it up on the phone. Can’t have a chat. It is six feet under and nine years decaying. I am sorry that I never call.