I have been told that when a loved one dies
the worst part is not the shock, or the blood,
or how grief colors all the places your hands touch.
The worst part is when the world heals you too well.
Years later, when you begin to forget their face
and their voice becomes a song
you do not remember the tune for.
After the burial, when the body just a fact.
A memory only confronted when prepared.
I do not have this problem of forgetting.
I remember your face exactly. Your voice is right here,
coloring my voice. Nothing is helping me
to forget your hands,
how they shook like apologizing mountains
hollowed in their wisdom.
I do not know about the part
where you cannot remember grief.
Grief comes for me every morning,
dragging your last breaths behind him
like screaming children.
This aphorism seems a privilege
of bad memory. The brain does this.
It hides the worst. It is the reason we look at scars
and say All I remember was the screaming.
Then everything went black. When I woke up
the worst of it was over.