Sometimes grief is chief.
Sometimes there are chiggers
In the tall grass out where you're walking
The dog in your nightgown. Sometimes nothing
Comes up Meg for days on end.
Some nights you can't even see
The moon, or it is so smudged out
By ghosts you can't tell where it even really begins.
When I first found out that most of the stars
We see are already dead, I took it
Very personally. I have been told
I am the kind of person who takes
Things personally. Sometimes the dog gets out
At night and she is black and she runs
Around in the street with the tires
Of cars just missing her and I feel like my heart
Has been divided in two and half of it
Is inside her and I am angry
That she is being so reckless with it.
But she'll never really understand
What it means to anticipate a loss. She just wants
Some good sniffs and doesn't know why
I am always trying to keep her
From what she wants most. I've been
Having those kinds of anxiety nightmares
Where he and I are trying to get to the airport
But we have to take a kayak there and end up
In a very high-traffic kayak area. Our kayak
Bangs against the others, filthy water
Sloshes up into my lap. My traveling outfit
Is, of course, ruined. The couple next door
Trying to fuck their headboard through my bedroom
Wall at dawn this morning hadn't any idea
That I recently broke up with someone.
They just thought they were being
The regular kind of inconsiderate.
Sometimes in the morning
You haven't even opened your second eye
Yet and already you're texting your ex-boyfriend
To tell him about the dream you had,
About kayaks. Sometimes in your sleep
You'll get a bloody nose and swallow
All the blood, wake up once your stomach
Gets full, to throw it up. Last night
At Wal-Mart, the couple in front of me
In line was buying a single Slim Jim,
To share. I missed him so much
In that moment it felt like I was full of collapsing
Stars. A deep round ache accompanied by
Regular sharp stabs. Like being in a bathtub
Full of crushed ice with little bits of glass
Mixed in. I could feel it
In my teeth. I could feel all the blood
Moving through me with great
Effort, like it was full of seeds.
Edith, the worst thing about endings
Isn't the ending itself,
But the beginning again. How tiring
It is to retell and retell
That story about the scar on the palm
Of your hand. How you climbed a fence
To skinny dip in a swimming pool
At night, when you were twenty-two.
How you made it into the pool
Just fine, and felt so much joy
Splashing around in the water. How
Climbing the fence a second time, to get out:
That's when everything went wrong.