What’s Left Behind

What's Left Behind

Lately
I’ve heard too many poems about death
And the great After All
And the comfort that people write for people,
Not for the people that aren’t.
And lately I’ve been listening
To only baseline ploddings of
Whatever warmth and light comes from words.
What’s one more then, really?
A few lines upon lines that spell
Gentle Comfort.
It’s Not Your Fault.
Life Continuous.

I am no expert on grief.
But I am learning that
I, in it, do not dissolve.
I, instead, push grief into my joints.
My heart beats it away from my mind
And it rests silently
In my elbows, in my shoulders, in my knees,
In the ligaments around my ankles.
There, grief lies in empty gravity.

On Saturday, I couldn’t remember your last name.
On Sunday, your full name was reported and engraved.
You are stamped upon this day in somber formality.
When I don’t have quotes to quote
From wonderful books you gave to wonderful friends.
Me, I have empty feelings about a vague friendship
In which all I can cite is
Good Guy.
The Smart One That Laughs at My Dumb Jokes.
Half-Second Polaroid in My Mind
Of Hey in the Hallway.

I won’t win the game of grief,
For others have it worse.
But I have it just enough to want to stay in bed
And maybe to sit down in the stairwell.
To have a tiny swallow
Of the suffocation
On the downturned faces
That walk, funeral-isle quiet.

As I choke at the surface of Amazing Grace
And candleholders hold candles,
Abandoned-puppet parents
Are realizing that their tomorrows are over.

So let me be grateful for mine
And let me embrace everyone I’ve loved
In gentle gratitude.
For After All,
If I stutter from the loss of a friend,
I should be causing earthquakes
In celebration of
What’s Left Behind.

RIP, Luke.
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One thought on “What’s Left Behind

  1. Wow. Robiny your writing is so engaging, but these reflections on grief so real. You are growing with every letter of each word. Thank you for sharing. You are touching me!

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    Like

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