Explain if you’re able to a little girl no older than you were when you discovered that pets don’t live forever (or grandmas, or daddies) that no one will die tonight in this speeding metal tube filled with people who don’t look or smell or sound like her family but who, like her family, have mothers and father and dogs and cats who also will not live forever.
Physics and math are elegant and unimpeachable, but they’re comically unconvincing
to a mind that is still accepting Bible stories
and fairy tales about princesses in castles.
Tell her that the air is water and that we are all swimming through it, and when she wonders why everything won’t sink to the bottom, as it seems to do in the ocean and her neighbor Ellie’s pool, try to think fast.
You said you couldn’t wait for me to come home, to be home, near you, doing whatever it is you imagined we would be doing. I’m flying now, and sinking, too.