Was it last night I told you

I had some mourning to do

but wasn’t sure

how to do it

how it would look?

As if mourning

was patient, would make

an appointment. As if mourning

was a rainstorm

that I might choose to walk in

that I might prepare for

with galoshes

and a rubber coat.


As if grief wasn’t greedy

and didn’t love

to sneak up on a person,

when she thinks she’s safe

miles above the world

in her airplane seat. As if

it wasn’t determined

to swallow her up

to hold her down

while she chokes

on dry pretzels

and sickly sweet apple juice.

As if mourning wasn’t a weight

dropped on a person’s chest


and crushing,

breaking ribs

and spilling salt blood


and over again.


Was it just last night I told you

I had some mourning to do

but didn’t yet know

how you could help? I’ll let you know,

I said. As if I might simply ask

to borrow an umbrella.






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