On the death of a friend

Sometimes I'm talking to everybody when I say why, why, why?

And somtimes I'm talking to no one at all because I don't want

your mellow-toned condolences.

 

I'm scared I don't feel enough, but

I"m certain it feels best to cry

and taste the salt

and know I'm alive.

 

It's worse to stare hopeless,

and repeat empty motions dry-eyed

with her name caught in my throat.

I'm a shallow-breathing shadow,

peering out of red-rimmed, foggy windows

at the cars passing by.

 

Innocently ignorant, they zip along in the usual rush.

I'm a clog in the traffic today,

stopped still in the crowd.

I feel what they can't even know,

I feel it for me now, and for them too.

 

I'm caught between the soulful heroine

who braves it all to live on for her,

and the hooded mourner

curled upon cold stone tiles.

 

Who can prepare?

Where do I begin?

Perhaps I am already the traveler.

 

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