By Mathiew Loisel
I don't know how to grieve--nobody taught
me to do this: Is there an agreed upon
set of conventions to cope with the sudden
void, the sudden extinguishment of an ephemeral flame?
I never considered the air I breathe—
the amalgamation of lives once lived.
My consciousness. How for grieve for those whom
seem as alive as when we first loved them.
In quiet solitude, the rain trickles
down my barred window. Looking out onto
a life divided. Live keeps tethered the
receding force fighting to evade grasp.
Unconditional love to me, sadly,
was glass-divider visits. Rebelliously French, home
was, no, is stale Camel smoke and bitter Maxwell House.
Now but a faint wisp of smoke swirling in thought’s recesses.
Longing for what never was—ignoring
pain that fractured our worlds. Disconnected.
You were long gone before the cancer, for
I long died in a concrete, razor wire existence.
Finality in its coldness ignores
the warmth slumbering not knowing whether
breath will become air. Hold onto fleeting
life. It is when we grieve that we are most alive.

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