Death is real.
Someone’s there and then they’re not
and it’s not for singing about.
It’s not for making into art.
When real death enters the house
all poetry is dumb.
When I walk in
to the room where you were
and look into
the emptiness instead
My knees fail.
My brain fails.
Crusted with tears, catatonic and raw, I go downstairs and outside and you still get mail.
A week after you died a package with your name on it came and inside was a gift for our daughter you had ordered in secret and collapsed there on the front steps I wailed.
A backpack for when she goes to school a couple years from now. You were thinking ahead to a future you must have known deep down would not include you though you clawed at the cliff you were sliding down, being swallowed into a silence that is bottomless and real.
and I don’t want to learn anything from this.
I love you.