v i g i l

I wash my dirty hands. 
Such a mundane act.

 I wash my hands in the bathroom. Such a mundane act. Hands dirty from working in the studio. Wash my hands in this stream of water. The tap drips - it can’t be turned off. ‘Perhaps the washer is going’ I hear myself say, feigning knowledge of how all this works and echoing Dad who is right now, downstairs, gradually fading away. I can no more stop the water from flowing out than stop him from leaving. I realise now. I let it fall through my fingers and honour this brief entrance and exit. Tap to drain, the water emerges, breaks into the light, sings a little, then is gone. In reverence I gather the trace of it.  I keep vigil there for hours in the bathroom till the water evaporates off the paper and all is left is a small stain of ash -- dirt of living. Residue of some thing that once articulated light. Residue of some thing that briefly caught the light and shone with it, then let it go.