“Did you love him?”
The therapist asks.
I pause in my breath, make it short and listen to what the circulation is telling me. “Yes,” I say, “I think I did.” And how could I not? He was the stuff of the big boy universe, a monument of what it meant to
have a big brother. He was annoying, and picked on me, but made me meals and helped me learn how
to recognize unfamiliar humor and when to laugh. We laughed some afternoons, the house thick with
summer sweat, our joy deep portals, the television a frigid murmur in the rooms. All day, we’d disobey
the rules and be glittered about it, waiting for our grandmother to come home and dial through the
“So, you loved him.” She says, and sure, yes, what does it really take to admit it, the moon is full tonight, anyway.
Sure, I loved him, because I was made to. But things got weird and the body holds a lot of what does not belong to it. I carry him in ways I’d wish away, but here we are.
“Most women cannot say the person by name or even a pronoun. You take this on well.”
That’s what you all call it. Is there ever a living, perforated thing that can escape a bleed? I’m not dealing, I’m not dealing with it, I’m not accepting it as mine but I talk about it, shoot at it, take
all the right medication. Is that enough? Sometimes. Today.
There is no
Resolution to missing you.
Each day travels in
and out of itself
My bold name falling
in and out of
Any stranger’s mouth.
These days I
look perfection in the face
with each lie. I was
Beautiful once. I was a bloom for time’s eye.
I was an allergen,
a schism of breath’s sake.
I loom through these sordid yellow rooms, teething with
deep misuse, your name starving me out. Absence is the heart’s dying muse.