my chest heaves
from poor health
or heartache
it’s hard to say
what I do know
is the weight
of your absence
feels heavier today

tomorrow's thanksgiving,
i've been trying to avoid
thinking about this day
for weeks.

i've lodged the thought of
it out of my head,
i've buried it away
but i can no longer
avoid it.

i don't want to
stare at an empty
place at the table.

four plates,
four forks,
four spoons,
four knives,
four glasses,
instead of five.

having to fill the silence
with questions about
school and post-grad life,
to steer the topic away
from how empty and sad
we feel without you.

at some points,
seven months
feels the same
as one.

time physically passes by,
and the next thing i know,
it's been seven months
rather than three.

it feels subjective to me,
i've been waiting for time
to mend me and my
hurting heart
but the day hasn't
come.

living with the loss
of you will always
sting,
even if it's just a bit.

i will stare at
the empty place
tomorrow and wonder
why you had to be taken
from me.

i give thanks for the 21
years i had with you
but they'll never feel like
enough.

do they celebrate
thanksgiving in heaven?

Molly Nicole May 13

I'm not sure what it is about that one spot on Five Mile Rd.
that gets me every time
We used to go on walks
I'm not even sure if this is where we would walk every time
But if I'm being honest
I only remember a few of our walks

I'm not sure what it is about that one spot in Dillard's
with the one smell
that takes me back to that one spot on Five Mile

I don't remember the things you said
just the way things made me feel
My feet flying under me just happy to be outside
the kind bus driver thinking I was chasing him had to be waved on by you
multiple times

I'm not sure what it is about willow trees
I don't even know how many times we made those bracelets out of their limbs
but the ones that I still have are my strongest earthly possessions

I'm not sure what it is about the Starbucks where I last saw you alive
and a year later in the parking lot found out you were dead
I'm not sure why I never went and saw you
With reminders of your presence all around town I felt that you were always with me
Until one day you weren't

I still turn my head at the smell of a pipe like yours
I still turn my head at scruffy beards on bikes
I still turn my head at the best damn family dinner I will ever have at Flying Pie  

I am so sorry that when I turned my head at Starbucks

I didn't say goodbye

I am learning in advance
How to grieve you when you go
Trying desperately to rember snapshots
Like standing in our apartment on a lazy, rainy Thursday in November  
Letting the natural light illuminate my favorite features on your face
And you
Making a slurping noise for me while I sip my coffee
Almost making me spit it out laughing
As you always do
I know I need to hold onto this
So when you go
I’ll remember what to miss
I could never explain to you in person
Why I can’t allow you to undress me
Or lay your eyes on me too much
Even in your loving arms
And touch
And gentle kiss
I still feel afraid of the wolf in every man
Still afraid of you having snapshots of me
Even when I’m gone
I don’t want you holding onto memories of me
Like I will hold onto you

Remember that feeling,
When you pick at a scab.
The fleshy white skin that forms,
over the red underneath.

A thin layer that protects
From elements,
as you heal.

But I'm,
Left staring,
Mouth-wide open,  at the blood,
Coagulating silence.

I wonder,
This time,
Why did you come back?
To pick at my just healed wounds?
I'm sorry,
All that's left is ash.
The charcoal still burning,
Red-orange flames.
Dying down,
Burning out.
This ash,
It covers me,
From head to toe.

All seemed to have ended that day
But somehow the sun rose the next morning
And everything went on as yesterday.

Years have passed
between then and now.
Life went on.
With or without you.

The pain I felt that day
is no longer there
I don't scream in the nocturnal hours
or gasp for air as if I cannot breathe
I don't clutch my heart in sorrow
or pray to find the light at the end of the tunnel.

It's all a memory now
from another lifetime.

I have accomplished the impossible
and learned to live without you.
It was as if learning to take the first step
without stumbling or falling over.

I can live without you.
I can laugh without you.
I can love without you.
But I still carry my hell
of the life I couldn't live with you.

Dawn 3d

All White

Such a long walk
That took seconds
Down the hall to see
You
White
White is all I saw
Head to toe covered
Except your reddened face
The crematory man
Said you'd be discolored
All I saw was you
In the yard
Sitting in the Star Wars room
Blue electric guitar
And bass lines
With or without you
And I learned
That life is fragile
And you looked it too.
I prayed and prayed
And sent my words
To the heavens
And felt the sky
Open up and swallow
My tears and pleas
Some writings
A Lock of hair
And a visual memory
Is what I left with
And will carry with
Me
Till my day comes
When they all walk in
And all they see white
All white...

About seeing my cousin in the crematorium before he was to be cremated. We were allowed a viewing. He died from hypothermia because he was homeless and a vet. He had paranoid schizophrenia which is why he would not allow us or docs to help him. He thought we were trying to kill him. He was in the Air Force for years and developed it during that time. He was only in his mid 40’s and we were very close bf he became ill. Rip Corky.
M Rose 3d

Sharks can't swim backwards,
they can only move forward.
But forward is a circle
and they'll never know.

We buried you in cherry
under the juniper tree,
and with God as my enemy,
God isn't there.

I tried to write a song after my baby brother died, but to no avail. The drought continues. I've been doing a lot of reckoning with my spirituality since then.
Amanda 3d

Grief is stronger than love
It's deeper
The love I feel is strong
but grief is stronger...
The feeling of the emptiness of your body
is more palpable than the fullness your body feels when love consumes it.

Love is powerful
It gives you hope and happiness
Love can pull you out of grief
The two are intertwined
Grief is born out of the loss of love

Grief is terrible.
It's a feeling that should
never have to be felt.
Love creates it but
a deeper love can stem from it.

Both are tangled in each other.
Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference...

It's like I'm picking up glass off a road,
Trying to make a window.
It's like it skidded after it snowed,
Pieces scattered like the mind of a schizo.
Head out in space,
Fragmented pieces turn into liquid,
Mind gone without a trace,
Swirling swirling skid skid skid.

That poor sweet kid,
Silly man look what he did.

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