How many years? (for Rebekah)

I.
I think I’ve been dead for a while.

But I don’t remember how it happened.

Whatever it was that took my soul, ripped

it from my flesh, I hope it didn’t hurt.

 

II.
I keep seeing your face in crowds, and it pains

me to look into the eyes of a stranger

and think they are you

-it’s never you.

But I hope whatever you’re doing, wherever

you are, I hope you feel all the joy in the world

because there isn’t much left here.

 

III.
Sometimes I question the existence of God.

 

IV.
Tonight there are people stomping

on my ceiling and banging empathy into

the walls. They don’t know who they are.

 

V.
I don’t know how to end this poem

to make it sound happy. No one likes

sad poems.

But everyone loves a few couplets posted

on Instagram that describe how they’re supposed

to feel about heartbreak at 3am, and how nothing

is okay but everyone is smiling anyway.

I hope they feel all the joy in the world.

 

Today is five years. The Monday after this day five years ago, my heart melted to the floor of an English classroom, and I will never forget that feeling. The feeling of blood-curdling cold spreading across my body (if I even had a body in that moment). I remember what I wore to school that Monday five years ago. It’s a weird thing to remember. But I knew you would say how you thought that brown shirt with the blue feathers was art, and I knew it would make you smile. That’s what I remember most- your smile. And your laugh. I hope there’s never a day when I forget what that sounds like. I remember your voice and the inflection in certain words you’d say. I still say, “I suppose”, instead of, “I guess” because that’s the way you always said it, and I want nothing more than to be half the woman you were. And I hate that I have to say “were” instead of “are” because it’s not fair that you’re not here. I’ll spend the rest of my life wondering how you’d spend the rest of yours.
Today is five years.

rebekah

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