After days of deep grief

the air feels like ocean.
But no amount of swimming lessons
readied you for this fall beyond sight.

You try to leave the house
without ripping open.
Walk the dog.
Send mail.

But everything is a trip wire
reminder of what has been lost.

The broccoli––
what you coaxed him towards as a child.
An orange–– he ate so many.
Model airplanes and finger paints.

His favorite kind of bread
lines up in neat rows
at the grocery store.

One whole row
has been removed.

At the back of the shelf,
bread bags fall into one another,
barely propped up,
shaped around emptiness.

Your hand will never stop reaching
toward what he loved.
The empty row will never be refilled.
A space you’ll keep stumbling over
with heart and eyes.

Hands that want
to busy themselves,
send a letter,
twist over
and over
on the heavy shore.

Originally published in Poetry Breakfast