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i.

they asked me if there was something
of yours that I wanted to keep
I wanted
to keep your eyelashes, your breath,
your blood
I said this, and they looked
sad, said they meant did I want your
clothes and possessions, your things

I didn't know what I wanted
cradling my head with my arms and
quietly saying no over and over
my mouth
dry with the taste of morning sickness
and old seawater

a month later, I wanted all your clothes
I was scrub-faced and tired
the yellow
of the walls hurt my eyes, buried in wet
towels, sleeping naked on the floor every
night

ii.

I fucked somebody else
after the funeral
"somebody else" sounds wrong now
as if you are still alive, kissing
my shoulder in the morning

I'd taken cocaine
and it made a sound in my ears like a hummingbird

like tinnitus

like someone banging on a door or just that tiny high pitched scream
that someone starts to make when they have grown tired of crying
so hard

iii.

your mother was fixing my hair in the kitchen
a bobby pin tucked into her mouth, talking
about the first time she got drunk
she took
the pin out of her mouth and said it made me feel
like I was really saying something
, bit down on
the edge of her glass
she looked old like
she had died too, and I couldn't see anything
of you in the lining of her face

she poured
another gin and tonic, laughed a little as if
at herself, said but I wasn't

we began to drink
like drowning women
trying to wash away the dirt and grief and earth
that you had left there

iv.

it was a whisper at first
soft little whispers that hung against the walls like fog
until the whisper became a voice became a shout
became a howl that ran its fingernails down my face

and I huddled in the shower
wet in my clothes
holding it in like a bowl of blood
nightmare
Add a Comment:
 
:iconbabyhallow:
babyhallow Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2014
The first one reminds me of how I felt last month when my father died.
Reply
:iconsamestripes:
SameStripes Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013  Student Writer
this is so fucking beautiful.
Reply
:iconghostoftheemptygrave:
Life. Death. What are those? The only things we have for sure. Ours or somebody elses.
Reply
:iconanotherpassenger:
AnotherPassenger Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
this work's title has been used in a poem here <3
Reply
:iconlacewinged-beauty:
Lacewinged-Beauty Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012   Writer
I really adored this.
Reply
:iconcompleteaccident:
completeaccident Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2012
Yes. Very, very well done. Thank you for doing this so well.
Reply
:iconhfeather53:
Hfeather53 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Wow. Very intense. Beautiful!
Reply
:iconsleepysheepdog:
sleepysheepdog Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012
after she died, i fell into the doorframe because i couldn't feel my legs. shivered and shook in the arms of men who had hurt me. took a pair of elephant earrings and a dreamcatcher pendant from her jewelry box. have dreamed about her almost every night for a year and in them, she cannot talk. but her mouth is always moving.

this was extraordinarily written. i was actually nauseous by the last line: a bowl of blood. and i think it's only a matter of time for it spills.

amazing poem.
Reply
:iconsleepysheepdog:
sleepysheepdog Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012
before*. ahaha, another mark of a good poem; i'm making grammar mistakes while tripping over my admiration for this.
Reply
:iconsecondhand-wings:
secondhand-wings Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
it seems very particular to say in the context of such an emotion-based poem, but the way you broke the lines up seemed very specific and really supports the whole piece.
Reply
:iconsigma-echo-seven:
Sigma-Echo-Seven Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Student Writer
Absolutely haunting.
Reply
:iconchildwoman:
childwoman Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I really like the first three sections. Section four, while horrifying and evocative, didn't seem to fit with the others. Too abstract? Too much of a change, maybe? Maybe it's something about the transition through stages of grief that I'm missing - I don't know. Regardless, really nicely done - a power emotional time captured beautifully.
Reply
:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012   Writer
:iconcongratssignplz: ...on the DLD Pick of the Day!
This poem hits hard, and does it so realistically, it hurts. I hope you woke from this dream soon. Thank you. :+fav:
Reply
:icontonepainter:
tonepainter Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Congrats on the DLD; it's so thoroughly deserved. I wish you never had reason to write this truly amazing poem, though. :hug:
Reply
:iconkaitforest:
KaitForest Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012   Writer
oh my god this is aches so hard in my chest i just
the pain that comes with death, you've trapped beautifully in your words
Reply
:icondailylitdeviations:
DailyLitDeviations Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by DailyLitDeviations and has been selected as our "Pick of the Day". It is featured in a news article here: [link] and on our main page.

Keep writing and keep creating.
Reply
:icon8o8o8o8:
8o8o8o8 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2010   Filmographer
this is a really good poem. i have mild tinnitus. it sucks.
Reply
:iconsleeplessjewel:
sleeplessjewel Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2009
i heart the last two stanzas. great emotional escalation x
Reply
:iconkibirkstele:
kibirkstele Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Very real.
Like a glass of cold water.
Not splashed, but thrown at you.
It awakened me.
Thanks. I felt privileged to be able to read it.
Reply
:iconiheldyoucloser:
iheldyoucloser Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2009
incredible. you portrayed grief and loss in a totally different way, totally honest, showing the behind-the-scenes stuff.
Reply
:iconcostello7:
costello7 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2009
poignant. you're a wonderful writer.
Reply
:iconsupertaate:
SuperTaate Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2009  Student Writer
This is heartbreaking and beautiful.
Reply
:iconejectionletter:
ejectionletter Featured By Owner May 20, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
this is gasp, read over and over beautiful. <3
Reply
:iconanarchypress:
anarchypress Featured By Owner May 20, 2009
This was humbling to read somehow. It reads like something I would write, but better than that. I was actually trying to write about grief, and I think I need to start over.

You were right to cut the last bit, but the ending does feel a little abrupt now.

Things:

"my arms with my head" made me stumble a bit, but perhaps I was meant to.

I think it should be "it made a sound..." (not "make," and we know that hummingbirds are frantic).

Did you intend the little "i" at the end? It almost works for me in the context, but it still distracts.

~M
Reply
:iconemilygolightly:
emilygolightly Featured By Owner May 21, 2009  Student Writer
oops, thanks for pointing those out.
:heart:
Reply
:iconherckle:
herckle Featured By Owner May 19, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
i am thinking that this is amazing, possibly more amazing without the last stanza, but maybe you feel it needs to be there. :heart:
Reply
:iconmoondrunk:
moondrunk Featured By Owner May 19, 2009   Writer
I squander my company
seats near me are cheap
what else can I do?
If I am wrong,
let me peddle my confusion.
Reply
:iconqueenhrosie:
queenhrosie Featured By Owner May 19, 2009
I really really really want this piece to end without v. v. is always true, and everyone always knows that within grief, v. is there. what i want is that bowl, i want this poem to sit on the bowl and wait for my reaction.

i feel partial to grief poems lately and that makes me feel a little sad or maybe a little more free.

*!*
Reply
:iconlosingmyfaith:
losingmyfaith Featured By Owner May 19, 2009  Student Writer
great piece, i liked it very much (:
Reply
:iconitsnotmeyousee:
itsnotmeyousee Featured By Owner May 19, 2009   Writer
this is in my heart foreveralwaysforgood.

you are beautiful.

:heart:
Reply
:icontheanimebutterfly:
TheAnimeButterfly Featured By Owner May 19, 2009  Student Writer
Oh my... That is amazingly well written, but so sad. It reaches right to my heart. It almost hurts... well done.
Reply
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