I have become
A person haunted by ghosts, living
memory–fragments. Wondering who I/we used to be,
before Bullet night.
I tell anyone who will listen: Brother
is not just a statistic, an unsolved case; I am just one
person who loved him.
I write and write, wanting to write out
regret, clinging to my skin, my nails and hair. I slough off
dead skin. My hair clogs drains and my nails break,
but still the guilt, the sadness
returns. I grow back, cells–such small units of life. How lucky
am I to grow, and breath and hurt, while Brother is grounded
bone and ash. How grateful am I that Brother returns
in memory. How lucky I am that I can regret, that my bones are heavy
with grief and guilt. I have not left Brother. Or is it that Brother has not left me?
I have become a person
who contemplates why and how someone kills
another. I’ve become a person who cries
in restaurants and grocery stores. I’ve grown weary
of funerals, of Facebook statuses announcing
lives cut off short by bullets. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by all of the work
I have to do within myself, all that forgiving, of myself
for that one night–and the forgiving of others. I am a person who
doesn’t know is she is ready to forgive, if she can. I am a person who believes
I can find forgiveness in older, braver and more compassionate version of myself.
I Have Become
I have become stone, that type of unmoving statuesque
marble. It began with the syrup tears so thick
they encased me in grief, flowing from my eyes. Daily
they carved canals down my cheeks. How easy it is
now to move from my eyes down to my lips.
There the sorrow turned into words
dripping from my lips in a slow cadence of rain-
drops. Now, when I speak some call it soothing, that calm
quiet of snowflakes falling. They do not know an echo
already grieves the sound it can only attempt to mimic,
that snow quivers in the thought of its inevitable melting.
There are tones only known to those who try to become
stone, those who try anything in their power to cover
the hallowed openings in ourselves, the ones we can feel
the wind blowing through but can never identify the source.