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  • I called it a lake of rage. It isn’t.
    Rage is grief, although grief isn’t rage. The impulse of the sing-song is to call it a lake of tears. It isn’t.
    Lakes hold fresh water, not salt. We cry salt tears because we once lived in the sea and now the sea lives in us and sometimes gets out when we lacrimate loss into bitter pearls.
    Rage flames. Water cannot catch fire, never mind the Cuyahoga in 1969. This lake of rage is a lake of grief caught fire, which means, since it must be flammable and inflammable both at the same time or it couldn’t puddle, it could only be gasoline. Grief is gasoline.
    I saw her when we scattered from the grave, turned our backs on that ominous omphala of turned dirt. Her grief stained the translucent air deep, dark red, although I could still see her walk like a puppet whose master has dropped a string. She shouldn’t have been so red. He never married her. My mother got to keep him, Phyrric prize that he was.
    The red stain should have hung over the grave like a tattered scarf suspended on a rope to the sky, should have been snatched away in rags by the bony-handed wind, one gust at a time. Instead it flamed out behind her, heating everyone in its wake, flat-footed mourners leaping out of the way like sparks.
    She looked up, and then around, as if she had heard something, or wanted to, but what she heard was my “Oh,” my air pushing out my vaporous rage. What she saw was the way I wear his face, and what she saw was that I knew. Her. Great spouts of fresh deep red dyed the air until I could barely see her anymore. Grief is gasoline.
    You’ll excuse me, I’m sure. I must go find a match.
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