Every now and then, I return to this poem and can’t believe that it came out of me.
I shall write an ode to grief,
to “Heaven gained another angel,”
to the passionately clichéd “It’s not your fault”—
these are the things
that are much too familiar. And
the gaudy production
playing out behind my eyes
—my best friend: an acrobat,
her eyes closed,
limbs snare-drummed sticks
clunking their way to the trapeze.
And I wandered into her big-top ring,
hours late to stop the fall
that left her stage-makeuped form
crumpled in our room.
For this reason,
I will always be
with my fish eyes,
mouth stumbling toward her name,
and shockwaves withering my ears.
I have no
where to place my hands
because they weren’t
the net I thought they’d be
to catch the girl
whose dark thoughts
manifested in thick black eyeliner. And
every place they are now
is a fucking waste.
And so I burst into the room
and hang into the door—
the model of disaster—
with my cacophonic chest and my legs going numb.
So if you want an ode
I can tell you
about the half-hearted shudder
in my waterlogged chest.
Or the way
I have to tilt my head
to look reality straight in the face.
I can sit in my room for half a semester,
hands cradling my not-understanding,
beseeching the star to undo her disappearing act,
too late, too late,