There is this feeling I get
when I'm laughing with friends
or Listening to certain songs
or even just experiencing life in general,
where my heart is about to burst,
and I feel as if someone shot me.
a bullet ripping right through my ribcage.
Is there a demon sitting on my chest?
because I can't breathe, and my entire body feels like I'm on fire and drowning at the same time.
I hope that one day, I'll be able to breathe when you cross my mind. But for now, my face will be blue
And so will my heart.
It was on a Friday they told me you were dead.
And Daddy was away
And didn't know to come right away
And my friend gave me lilies
Because what was there to say?
For a week I carried you
Still, heavy, silent
A breathing tomb.
I birthed you on Good Friday morning
Held you in the hollow of my hand
Tiny, formed, delicate, alabaster -
Who lived in my hope
But died in my body
Who lived in my heart
But never in my arms
They told us we could bury you
So we did
In our own soil
Paper shroud, shoebox coffin
Mommy's letter in a bottle.
I planted a lilac to remember you by.
We moved away
I had to leave you and the letter and the lilac behind.
Still I am moving away
Leaving you and the letter and the lilac behind.
Brew tragedy tea
and drink without
Keep checking the meaning of
in case it's been redefined
in less absolute terms.
Shiver through the heatwave and watch
the colour bleed out of the summer.
Dig a hole that won't be deep enough.
Shower off the crazy sweat and grave dirt
and pretend like maybe
you'll do the dishes.
Rupture your inner workings
as you scream at the universe
for fucking up so badly.
Lapse into the cold, sterile embrace
of catatonia, grateful
to feel nothing for a while.
Cry so long and so hard you forget
why you're crying,
then remember and cry
longer and harder.
Try brokering a deal with fate's
Appeals Department: offer
your organs, your eyesight,
however many years off your life,
to get him back.
Search for meaning and find none.
Rage against the perversity of it all.
Howl that death shouldn't feel derivative.
Remind yourself that this
isn't just a sick joke.
Hate Elisabeth Kübler-Ross for being right
and yourself for being so generically human.
Realise how little
Reacquaint yourself with anhedonia.
Try not to hate the blue sky
or the birds who have returned
to sing in his back garden.
the pain doesn't go away
it only grows deeper
and from time to time
resurfaces, often when
you least expect it
when you're washing dishes
or driving home
your thoughts wander
to hidden memories
and before you know it
your eyes fill with tears
you try to wipe them away
and push these thoughts aside
but why would you want to forget
something that you care so deeply for?
A buzzing. A whooshing pressure.
My body is here but where am I?
Deep inside my head
The empty seat in front of me comes back into focus
I dreamt a lacquered coffin
Now I see one
People I should know milling about
Exiled from the family, I keep a respectful distance
This poses a semantic problem for people:
“I’m sorry for… your loss?” Their loss? The loss?
I can’t process this strange mix of emotions
So I stay deep inside my head
And wait for my body to walk away
I tried to call out to you
in my dream last night.
But you were lost
behind a fixation
I couldn't re-imagine.
Now I'm looking
at the way I'm coping
hoping to somehow
ghostwrite my way out
of this incessant grief.
We can't just spill loss
into a letter and hope
by some chance
they read it over our shoulder.
I am foreshadowing
someone else's demise.
I've spent a lot of time losing this year,
and somehow this was the most difficult.
Somehow the idea
is worse than
Somehow these words
will not be enough for you.
Asking you to stay
but you leaving seems the same.
I can't tell if
this is a poem
for my best friend that died-
or to the one who tried to.
I guess it's both.
I guess I am both.
Somewhere between grieving
too late and too early
in the same breath.
Loss feels so much more
I am a tea kettle
with bad metaphors
left on too long
so I am just screaming.
This is an empty house-
no one can hear me.
My blood boils over
never taken off the back burner.
This chest caves in
and I cave into
the mindset that
This is real life
and death isn't
just a concept for me anymore.
It is object permanence.
i want a drought.
i want the rain to stop hitting the roof like incessant knocks of a jehovah's witness
("have you been saved?")
you are unwelcome here.
i want a drought
because i don't think that my veins, running like rivers, my heart, swelling like a cloud about to burst with rain,
can handle one more phone call in the middle of the night,
one more stifled sob in the shower of an empty house.
on the day of my uncle's funeral,
(they called it a 'celebration of life'
but i've never seen a celebration
where there were so many people crying)
i thought that he would show a sign that he was here.
but it rained all day
and the only thing that i could hear over the noise
was his children crying.
a month ago, tucked into a booth at an italian restaurant,
my mom got the call that they were taking her off the ventilator the next morning.
i had never experienced the feeling of the world continuing to spin
until my mom was crying, my dad was praying, and families all around us
ate their pasta and drank their iced tea and laughed
while our family was falling apart.
the next day, it rained and rained
and stephanie passed away, as simple as a plug pulled out from behind a hospital bed, and a hand going cold.
when my friend took me for a drive,
so i could get out of the empty house,
so i could stop feeling like my throat was constantly on the verge of closing,
so close to suffocating, but never there,
the rain hit the windshield
and on any other day, i would've found it calming,
but it was mocking me.
today, your body lays in your bed, your arms so stick-thin that i don't think i will ever forget the shape of your bones,
your hands are too cold for your mother to hold any longer,
and your heart finally gave in,
and it is raining.
in little intervals,
like just when i think i am out of tears,
they come again,
sure as the setting sun,
hidden behind gray clouds.
rain, rain, go away.
let me breathe.
let me grieve,
let my eyes dry,
and let me go.