Unscientific He is back from school his satchel bubbling with learning about force and friction and motion and molecules and how Newton believed a 'push' made the world go round Science, he exclaims, can explain everything lucid and logical, relevant and rational As I stare at the monarch butterfly fluttering gloriously in its marmalade kimono, on the pink milkweed drinking deep, very deep I whisper aloud would the flower hold a grudge for being emptied of its nectar? Or when the willowy scarlet leaves drop and fall from the trees the branches that held it close for so long, would the maple and the oak lament? The house sparrow that visits me every morning over tidbits of millets and milo on the wooden fence, would it feel abandoned when I am gone? The red songbird, after its August molt, would it forget the feathers that once soared it high? Why do red carnations and the demure white daisies make the world look more perfect than it is? The passion fruit that ripens and falls, the squirrel and the skunks, the raccoons and the chipmunks would they be grateful to the carpenter bees that started it all? As long as they stand, strong and sturdy would the bridges ever get to know that people reached home safely because they weathered the storm? Is it okay to prosecute the floods for culpable homicide or can it plead not guilty, for it knows not what it destroyed? Do people ever sleep in peace with fear in their hearts and guns in their closet or the one who has waged war, fighting a war within too? He looks at me, surprised ready to step out and chase bumble bees in the balsam flowers That's not scientific, he says and gallops away I continue to stare at the monarch as the autumnal light fades wondering how science has all the answers and I have none. A parallel world You may not be able to see tomorrow - the subject line reads - from my financial consultant the first rays of the morning sun have just started to fall on the magenta and green leaves of the coleus as a shiny dew on the tip quivers by the gentle intrusion of zephyr. It's a peaceful morning to cook peaceful pancakes and let a peaceful day unfold but I've got a Belaz on high idle rolling over the arteries of my heart The email reads - Keep all your investment & insurance documents in one place and tell your spouse about that. It could go the other way round too. But he chooses the stereotypes, and I choose what I have been choosing for years shut the kitchen window and drop on the beige tiles next to the dishwasher my heartbeat so loud, I can hear it explode except that it doesn't, and I have to live with the anguish of unexploded ordnance and cook peaceful pancakes for the peaceful family and say a peaceful goodbye to them. As I look out at the little boy his fingers clasped in the big palms of his father I cannot help but let it flow drop by drop the panic I thought I had defeated a confetti of pills and spiritual chants The newspaper feels heavy, almost lifeless with the burden of mass graves found in Ukraine and dead bodies of three children, their mother suffering from unkept promises and unpaid bills How does one survive a world so cold? And so I lose it all, every bit, in a matter of a few seconds over a few words in Times Roman a trigger that's so readily available in today's world, at every step every cross, every turn and to make matters worse, it's autumn in California and the trees are a salad bar of colors so vibrant you might pluck and chew on them or lay on the parakeet grass and let tawny maples gently fall more like a bandage for the badly bruised heart I know I am wasting my breaths over an emotion that doesn't stand a reason It's un-Oprah-like. I feel the shame. Hardworking farm women don't have the luxury to dissect the ebb and flow of emotions and crouch and crawl on the ground while tilling the dry land or blowing the clay oven to cook millet. Are my days too empty, or is the world too full? Are my thoughts too dark, or is the world less bright? As I straddle two worlds, one day meets another and they turn into weeks and months and years. Stranded on this island, I teeter my way through the squall waiting for the final breath to rise and then fall ushering an end to a thousand deaths I have encountered before.