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.