Wake Up

grief is the loudest emotion.

when someone dies
there is a pause in the earth’s rotation
as if
the axis we all depend on forgot to keep moving
as if
the world we all inhabit forgot to set her alarm clock
or maybe
like the rest of us
wanted to keep hitting snooze

while we all
just keep “waking” up

but what they never tell you
is
when someone you love dies
this pause is an eternity
lasting longer than any of us can hold our breath
i know
because i’ve tried
but silently crying doesn’t bring them back
and loudly praying never will

so i
just keep “waking” up

and the mornings are so clear
this time of year
brisk is beautiful when kissing the rising sun
but i can’t see through the foggy blur of my own eyes
and i can’t tell if it’s
the nicotine therapy stuck to the inside of my windshield
or
the tears of feeling lost stuck to the inside of my everything
and
it’s probably both
so
i’m probably drinking too much

and i haven’t touched her bedroom door in weeks
knowing that it’s empty on the inside
knowing that we have this in common
and i’m too weak to fathom
what this looks like
for either of us
so i remember to breathe
to focus on my lungs
and in doing this i know that
i’m smoking too much
but
one habit at a time
and right now
i’m just trying not to expect her home
trying not to focus on how much this house has grown
when i’m alone
the big of an empty room
is hard to imagine
until you have to
and i still blink heavy every time i pass her door
hoping
to notice that it’s never been there before
knowing
that it still is
where she isn’t
and there are moments
our 3-bedroom hallway becomes a never-ending corridor
that i’m running fast down
but never moving forward
like that dream

that i can’t
“wake” up from

i miss her
i want to tell her that we’re okay
i want to tell her that we’re not
most days
the silence in our house is too big to hear the thunder she left across our hearts
scarred from living now only in the memories that never came to be
most people call these wishes
i call them regret
and in the end
i just want 30 more seconds
to tell her my truth
“aunt carol, i love you.”

but she
never “woke” up

and the evenings are so quiet this time of year
brisk is beautiful when kissing my third beer
and i wish
she was here
but she isn’t

so i
just keep “waking” up

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