Family (grief trigger warning)

When I sit
at 2 in the morning
eating a family size
pack of m&ms
it almost feels forbidden:
to eat so much
it almost makes me sick,
to think so fast
my body lines blur,
to be too deep in it,
that messy glory wasteland
with her howling angels,
to stay up so late
I forget what month it is,
to remember
what family feels like,
all 5 of us,
sitting at the picnic table
in the fall
when the wind whips
around you,
listening to NPR
on the radio,
laughing together
as the leaves
fall down
mixing with the
gravel and sunshine.

How could I have known
that even though I loved the snow,
the move to cold Minnesota
was the start
of the end of family.
I cut my hair off
at 3 in the morning
with a rusty pair
of old scissors
that my nana used
to cut crisp and neat with
when I was young,
and now scraping clumps
of hair off my head
with dull pieces of metal
the summer after
my dad died
and I missed him
and my mom
yelped at the sight
when I came down
to breakfast
in the morning.

And later,
I smoked 6 cigarettes
outside in the depths of the dark
having paced round
the hospital room for so long
I was forming a trail
of sunken floor
with my heavy feet,
waiting for my twin flame
to wake up after
his first brain surgery
as the doctors
ripped out as much
of the tumor as
they could
even then knowing
that this was a road
which would end,
in tears,
and for me
my worst fears being right,
doing it all,
running round and round
so as to feel nothing,
sitting at the window,
looking out at the red bird
perched in her tree branches
outside my bedroom
at 11 in the morning
when I held Jordan’s hand
and whispered
over and over:
I love you. I love you.
Can you hear me? I love you,
until he died in my hands

with a sigh.

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