Two Months After
I had where I knew my mother was dead.
It was not a part of the dream, but I knew, the way
you know things in dreams: that you can float
if you squeeze your eyes shut enough, that this home
that isn’t your home is your home, and, for this dream,
that my mother was dead. I wonder if this is healthy,
a form of acceptance, a good sign.
When I woke after dreams where my mother was alive
again, I didn’t know how to feel about it.
But now, even in my dreams, my mother is dead.
There is no sanctuary anymore. Even in my dreams,
I couldn’t keep her alive.
Four Months After
How she saw me as having a place in the world.
My therapist tells me when I speak about my mother,
I use the world narrative a lot. It’s true.
My mother was my life’s narrator.
She told the story of my life to me.
Without her, my life seems so clumsy
and purposeless. Who cares what I do
or don’t do? Who cares if I forget,
or remember? This art I create
in the vacuum of her death
feels like so much pale dirt,
weak and heavy and plain.
My mother’s love was a bell
that hurts to ring without her.
My life is the static-y remainder
of tape after the beautiful music ends.
How empty and useless the silence,
how I listen with my ear to the speaker
because it’s all I have left.
Six Months After
to miss her. Sometimes there is no answer,
no pivoting, no framing things in a better light.
She says it’s okay to just miss, to just long,
to look at the world as less than without her,
for now, or forever too. But definitely for now,
it’s okay to be buried in it for a bit, to be in it,
to feel it. My mind whirls and buzzes, trying
to find its solution. The insects in the forest
behind my house scream every night trying to find
love in the dark. I sit with my dogs on the porch
when I can’t sleep and listen. Together we all watch
the sun creep across the sky like spilled wine.
A new day waiting to flood over us, no matter
how comfortable we’ve grown with the night.