you said you wanted to eviscerate and trace the minutiae of our love with a knife, carve and dissect it into juicy pieces for us to eat, for us to reveal to our friends and family,
that was what hurt the most, finding that carcass;
It would go like this, I would ask you
Later we would realize it would take two years) do you remember
When Mimi got sick.
Yes, you would say,
She was very, very sick,
And she couldn’t get better. And we had to help her, and we helped her, and it helped me, because the refrain of that conversation hurdled me through the pain of that winter the cruelty of that fall the long and enduring anxiety of that spring and
all the love in the world
Still couldn’t save any of us.
I am now the only one of us who was in that room, I realize, because although you were there now you will
Not be there, now you will be
Elsewhere when I am putting down our pets,
And if I can’t cry in a locked building all by myself, is it ever safe to cry at all?
Same train, different stops,
I keep saying to myself, because that’s how it would have been if you’d died, but the thing about those stops is that you think just because you’re cognizant to the fact you’re on a train, it won’t hurt, just because you know eventually you yourself have a stop doesn’t mean
you won’t feel it kick you suddenly in the chest like a horse
like a harness
like a parachute deploying, like a heart attack in a grocery store you are cursed with the knowledge that the only ones who will watch you die may be strangers,
Because they’re all strangers and kids from other high schools,
They’re all grappling with nine and ten-year commitments to things
Things that also don’t exist
Maybe two trains, two different stops
As you brush by someone in the grocery store.