Melissa's little brother
was found dead on the couch
at 7 AM from a heroine overdose.
It was the same day she had graduated from Columbia University.

His "Congratulations Lissy"
he'd made with love in chalk on the driveway
(with hearts and rainbows around the words)
had started crying,
spilling technicolor down the concrete.

The rain made his
should-be-happy message
nothing but a memory,
a dripping ghost of rainbow chalk.

She wishes she had come home
the night he died but now every time she comes home to New Jersey
she sees his faded colors still
tattooed on the gray street, repeats the last thing Henry
ever said and smiles:

Don't worry.
Today I am beautiful.
Today I am happy.
Today. I am alive.

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Melissa on her brother Henry: Henry was a true star child. He lit up any room he walked into and ignited everyone's hearts. His presence couldn't be ignored--and neither can his absence. I think he came into this world to teach us something--how to love deeper, stop resisting and lean into love. He may be gone, but we still feel his presence in the sky. He still sends us shooting stars to teach us lessons and send us his love.