April 7, 2017

and after he killed himself
you don’t shower for five days,
change your clothes, or brush your hair.
you want to sit shiva, but you’re not jewish,
don’t know what it means.
but for you, grief alone
doesn’t seem like a good enough excuse.


he mentions you in his note
and you know this, not because you read it,
but because someone’s mom told someone
who tells you. and that hurts more
than the death itself.


at the funeral, you sit in the back,
in your family’s pew, you are comfortable,
here.  you can’t see the open casket.
his body. gone. dead. gone. decaying. gone.
and your sister cries more than you do.


you spread yourself out
in the shape of a star on the lawn,
in front of the church, in the middle of town,
while everyone else goes to the cemetery.
even still, you’ve never seen his tombstone up close.


and now, you don’t go to the river anymore
to throw rocks, drink, or pray
because you don’t know where
he did it. and you’d rather not remember.

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November 30, 2017

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