What I’m learning about grief is that
it comes and goes, like the shadow in front of me
on the afternoon sidewalk.
as if death had lit a pale light
in your flesh, your flesh
was cold to my touch, or not cold
but cool, cooling
I was sure that I had failed my mother, unable to keep her in her home, as I had once promised.
I was free, I was twenty. I fell wholly &
forever in love every week. I was hungry for life
Look at me, writing circles around what I must face:
The man I love is dead.
For he was so curious about the shapes & pressures
of our American lives, he made each friend
feel like the genius-author of a great story.
ate only bites but
always well: warm boysenberry pie,
bone broth matzoh ball soup
And survivors with numbers tattooed on their arms, straight as a
the ink indelibly blue, unlike the blessedly changing ocean.
The darkness arrived without your voice
or touch, my love, and yet I heard
your voice and felt your hand in mine.
her infinite soprano
and my street drawl voicing words that could
depress a saint
Forget all the nonsense
about eyes opened or closed
or brain waves
Grandma lived to be ninety-three
and wore the fabric of that tale to a soft sheen
with her retelling. Where does the past lie?