Dismantling Grief


is never a straightforward thing. Start
with a handful of earth, scattered over the wrapped
body lowered into the ground. Move

back to when you were tying your shoe laces
before the phone rang—the Allo?, the silence.
“Are we all martyrs?” writes Darwish.

Months after the burial, he will come back
to ask about the bullets, the holes in his chest. Tell him,
“You were eating falafel on the street.” Try

to stay still until almost nothing is left
but the sound of water inside the building walls.
The beauty of sunsets will hurt. Fade

the red. Like a matchstick,
you will break, burn. Go back
to that afternoon when you were both ten,

learning how to make a circle. Remember
how he taught you to steady your hand. Go out
on the balcony. Sip your morning coffee in the cold, look—

the paper on the parked car says “For Sale”
and Julia is singing, “I pray for you.” This is a good day
to run. Your shoes are in the closet. Get them.

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