Grief is very much like
carrying around a bucket filled to the brim.
No one asks why you’re tiptoeing around
trying not to jostle it; they know
one false move can tip it over.
Even forgetting for just a moment,
laughing a little too freely
can bring unexpected pain,
can pour you out
There is nothing that a doctor
could find wrong with me-
so I cannot get a note.
But I’m staying home
I’ve got a fever of the mind
I can’t prove,
yet I feel
collapsed from the inside,
from holding steady
There is a seed of grief
I have to tend to
before it grows big,
a sadness which wonders
at all the scuttling,
all the getting by.
“Am I getting lost?”
I know this road too well,
I know the cost,
I know the cure,
and today I’m calling out
to fix myself.
In the evenings I hear my vertebrae crack,
applause, accepting that consolation prize
in grim silence,
in grin’s solace,
in the low of secret trippings of harp strings,
beautiful on deaf ears.
I sing with the pain as with the fury,
as with the written nuances of joy.
I hear the underwater snapping of pieces,
muffled by an ocean and wrapped in flesh
quiet by virtue of uniformity,
quiet by virtue of reality,
and quiet by virtue of reverence.
I should’ve asked the hopping bluebird
if his lot was mean to bear
before the crushing of his head had foiled his helping-
his jaw and mine and the cat’s all still
But I know that brimstone doesn’t spoil in the heat
as angel-milk bestowed to lube aching joints,
and I have eaten my share of birds-
we are all hurtled to Earth
on breaking bones.