For you

For the dark corners
you have learned to embrace
and the soft spaces
you still keep;
for the fragile strength
that has carried you through
and the bravery you’ve shown
when you stared death in the face
and chose instead
to live.
to love.

For the decision you make
day after day to keep hope
within reach
and let go of grief,
for the honest tears you’ve shed
so openly with yourself
and the mountains you climbed
on your way
to peace;
For your eyes and lips
and ears and fingertips
and hot breath in your lungs
for staying present
through it all;
For what was
what is
and what will be.
for growth.
For the voice you birthed from the pain
and for the courage you’ve found to walk away
and let the past
die for good.

For Spring after Winter.
For the light in the darkness.
For rebirth.
For you.

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saturday night

You get in your bathing suit and go sit in the hot tub. It’s dusk. You bring the new book you bought earlier but don’t read it. Instead you sit there thinking about your dead ex-boyfriend and of how proud he would be if he could see how mature and stable and sober and responsible you’ve become. You start to cry because you miss him, because you feel lonely, because it’s saturday night and you wish you were somewhere else, doing something fun, not sitting here, alone. But what if spilling tears in a hot tub is what your heart needs now? What if this is how you heal? Maybe sitting in silence submerged in water without any substances in your system will finally give you the clarity you’ve been seeking. God knows you tried all the opposites already. God knows you’ve tried to outrun all these thoughts already but you’re never fast enough.

You recline your head back and look up at the now dark sky, sprinkled with stars. You try counting them and get to fifty, unsure if somewhere in there a plane or satellite snuck its way in. Apparently you need glasses now. Still, you see three of the stars that make up the big dipper and that brings you comfort because you remember spotting them in Brazil as a child. Maybe not that much has changed, after all.

When your skin folds in like an old woman’s, you leave the hot tub, shower, and feed yourself popcorn and a frozen entree for dinner as you watch a series about an orphan girl called Anne who is all alone in the world.

It seems appropriate.

Around ten p.m., you drift off to sleep as Anne finds a family and falls in love in the background.

For You

I’m writing about your death and the aftermath because I know it’s what you would want me to do.There are easier things to do than to write about death on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

But I can almost hear: “They need to know,” your whisper somehow seeping through the other side- “They need to know it’s okay to be broken and sad and afraid. In your weakness you’ll give them strength. Keep writing, even if that also means you keep crying.”

And so I do.

For them, for me, but mostly for you.