Looking Everywhere

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Looking EverywhereI’ve been looking everywhere because it has to be somewhere.

I look in what we eat. The mold in the bathroom. I look in the pictures on my phone that were taken the day before your seizure.

I squint at the underside of the streetlight outside the house, where there is writing I’d never noticed before, but it isn’t there.

I look in the silverware drawer, when I select one spoon over another just like it.

In ladybugs crawling up the wall or flies gathering on the porch railing.

I look in the black and white scans of your brain that no longer shock me—the tumor,

white, like a ghost that I want to stop believing in.

I look in pews and hymns.

In internet searches and forums and hashtags. In medical journals written for doctors and scientists who will number you among their many other numbers and pass you under a microscope without looking closely.

In the baby’s eyes—the baby, who was born two weeks after we found out.

In abandoned clam shells at the beach. In holes dug in the backyard.

I look for it in my own palm. In a psychic’s words. In worn out cards with mystic designs, shuffled and placed in patterns, deciphered by a voice who hears voices.

In my own head, when I sit in the waiting room, and you are attached to a table by the

green mask they put over your head so invisible radiation can damage the right and wrong DNA.

I imagine the ones we love and lost, standing in a circle around you, and I ask them to help.

I look in the car breaking down on the way back from the vet’s office where I have just found out that the dog has cancer, too.

I look in patterns I either created or noticed.

I look in the kindness of family and friends, reaching for their good and closing my eyes and ears when they doubt. Then, I push them away with both hands.

My faith increases. Sometimes, I am filled with it, with a burning light of belief in the future we always planned.

I watch our older daughter construct a new garage of Legos for you everyday before you wake up, like a charm against evil. I watch the baby, now four and a half months old, pivot her head at the sound of your voice.

I crawl into bed with you, because you are here. Your skin is warm. I can press my nose into your neck, and I do.

Photo used under CC.

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About Author

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Emily Livingstone is a writer, mom, and teacher. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Jellyfish Review, Fiction Southeast, Necessary Fiction, and elsewhere.

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