on the days my mother wakes up sad / she tucks this despair / into the pocket of her jeans / and makes bacon for breakfast / kissing my forehead tenderly / because she has taught herself / how to co exist with her sadness / and like how she raised me / she takes this sadness / and loves it like the world / has no end / she loves her sad / until there is nothing left to love / and then / she loves her happy.
i taught myself / how to lie quietly / and make it look as if / i am no longer breathing
– how to survive while going to school with gunmen making headlines
he left me for the montana skyline / but / i left him long before that
you used to tell me stories / when i was crying / you’d tell me how the moon lost it’s color / and how the stars fell in grief / and when i grew older / we would sit on the sofa / as you curled my hair / talking softly about bigger things / because i was a bigger / and i liked listening to you / i always had / so maybe that is why / it took me years to notice / how your hair had lost it’s own color / and this time / i was the one who fell in grief / calling out stories / to an empty room / saying “come back ” / “i wasn’t ready for us to be a story yet.” / i wasn’t ready for you to go
i saw a little girl ask / “mommy, why is she crying while kissing him?” / darling / i hope you never know
with that smile / you have torn me down with words / but i say / no more
she left a note / on the terracotta tile / of my front step / and she has said / that she is no poet / but i find myself marveling at the way / she can make goodbye / sound like my fault