Thursday, November 14, 2013

if the earth could

In an effort to feel closer to you after you died,
we started going to mass,
dipped our fingers in holy water,
pressed our palms together
as we recited the Lord’s prayer until
the words lost all their meaning. This

is how you give a word meaning:
you ascribe a memory to it,
like, James Joyce will always be a porch,
my mouth fumbling over
and your patience manifest there.

If grief were a dichotomy it would be
remembering and forgetting,
like, the sight of your hands clasped in your coffin
reminisces of them moving always,
the effect of the illness that did not consume you
you were not your illness you never will be.

When we remember we remember your kindness,
your capacity to love outside yourself how
you loved
every person you met,
even those you hadn’t yet met and
never would.

If the world could feel
it would have felt your passing like the aftershocks
of an earthquake,
unlike the raw ripe absence of someone gone too soon.
You ended premature still full developed
a peach off the tree the day before it would reach perfection.

This is where we remember:
something you would have said, something you would have liked someone
you would have loved to meet. A place you loved.
Anecdotes: remember when—? Here you are
now, encapsulated in the written word.

If the earth could feel, it

would ache in the presence of your absence, dully,
the way the body remembers a touch.

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