Ordinary Grief

“How does one commemorate the ordinary?”
~Sherman Alexie
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me

flowers are a start
even if they are cut
even if they
too
will die

after all
we do not want our grief
to outlast its usefulness
the way trinkets and mementos
so often do

grief will outlast
the flowers

but they will serve as
a reminder
the cycle continues
there is always
something changing
in our hearts

from decay
a newness can arise
with love
forgiveness
passing of time

shells soften
by the turn of tides
diamonds eventually
crumble to sand

grief shouldn’t
last forever

take time
commemorate this grief
this ordinary
this everyday
but don’t ask it to remain

like the most resilient of roses
grief too will shed its pedals
and lose its glamour

grief will return to earth

it will erode like fallen leafs
like skin and bones
like love
and
in time
it will be forgotten

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Disappear

I am disappearing
act, mispronounced
name, forgotten
introduction

I walk softly,
sew lips.
as unsubstainal
as the chill
in the dark

part ghost,
part chameleon.

I wish
I could
say there was
security in
the anonymity,
it merely
leaves me
hollow and creates
a blotch
only I can see.

Don’t try
to look
for me.
I blend
into background,
then disappear
as quickly
as the song
you never
bothered
to remember.

Rosemary

There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember.

remember me
when you least
expect it

in the scent
of rosemary and
the red of eyelids
closed to the sun

and I will
remember you
scrawled
in cursive on
forearm in the
tender spot
where the sun
never reaches

isn’t that
what we all
want?

the best parts
of us to stay alive
in the hearts of
those we love

our words
remembered

hummed like
lullaby

tasted like
salvation

Cold

I freeze
without you.

The towers
I place
around me
are set
on fire,

but they can
not keep
me warm.

So I reach
for you,

not as easy
to find
as I hoped,

not quite
where I
thought you
would be,

In your
absence
I lay
a piece
of you

on my chest
over flesh

not as warm
as I remember,

not as much
a second skin.

but you
pacify
the shiver
I can not
elude.

how to let go of what you never had


start with
ocean

wet sand
hard underfoot
waves seep in
soft foam sticks
to ankles as
water pulls

stay for an
overcast day in
northern california

shirts untuck
gulls coast
high above on a
salty chill

arms around chest
to secure warmth

toes curl and uncurl
embed small flakes of
broken down life
in the crevasses
between nail and skin

let go by allowing
wind to pull forward
instead of letting earth
hold back