they say you are loopy.
I drive an hour to the hospice center,
it has been so hot and humid this late August.
When I arrive,
the crosswalk bridge is closed again due to heat.
It hasn’t been open this whole time.
I wonder what it is like to walk across it momentarily,
and then I take the long way up to see you.
In the room all I see is your catheter bag.
Mom had told me crying that
it would be there now.
Mom had also told me that when you are near the end
your body starts shutting down, you
stop producing bodily fluids.
I see urine in your bag.
You are given cake,
but your birthday is still one month a way.
I ask, Is it a hummingbird cake?
Tell me how to make a hummingbird cake.
Four eggs and a hummingbird, you reply.
You proceed to become more scattered.
They say it’s the morphine.
I pass on dinner.
Everyone eats hamburgers around you while
'Bachelor in Paradise' is playing on the television.
I don’t want to cry in front of you,
As I leave for the evening I grab your hand
and despite your age, your skin is soft.
Softer than mine.
You tell me you love my hands as you caress them.
into my eyes.
I pull away, but before I do I squeeze your hand
one last time.
Feel better and get some sleep. I’ll see you on Thursday.
On my way back to my car,
the crosswalk bridge is now open.
It’s cooler now.
I hear crickets.
All my life I have only known one home. I shared this space in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey with my mother, father, and brother through all stages of life. When I left home and moved away from my family unit, the sense of mental comfort and stasis I felt within that confinement burst open. Similarly, I found that when I returned to this space, my experiences of it had changed. While this was still a familiar place, it somehow felt strange to me. I am interested in the way in which family can be a means of representing oneself in terms of histories, experiences, and memories. Four Eggs and a Hummingbird illustrates ambiguity. The images blur the line between fact and imagination, similar to how memory bends, molds, and fluctuates, complicating truthfulness. Constructed with a large format view camera using color film, these images challenge the notion of authenticity often attributed to family photography. Using the dense forested region of the Pine Barrens as my foundation, I explore interior and exterior relationships between my family members and myself. Questions arise about who I am as a person outside of my family unit, and what burdens do I carry by keeping certain memories from my family members. Through the photographs, I am facing, preserving, and challenging my memories.