Excerpt from “Inches”
But the way you find him, only poplars move, nothing else, not Robbie, not the weary red rope, not the reluctant sapling, all unreal, like seeing photos of dead guys in Vietnam on evening TV, arms, legs contorted, knowing motion only moments before and then stopped in ways not humanly, livingly possible. You can only imagine how they died, imagine things all the way back to when they were in high school like you and Robbie, then how they were drafted . . . then dead on the evening news. They die in newscasts, in ellipses of thought, like Robbie.
At your high school, plenty of parents, teachers, detectives who interrogate you as “the best friend,” all care to know quite a bit about how you found Robbie Sparks that April morning, but none asks the hows of such a death struck into awful permanence, not even the shallow hows you see on TV, melodramatic outbursts of absent-minded grief such as, “How could this happen?”