Poetry & Prose

Grief sometime in January

Art by Maria Cazzato

Above me, a street lamp flickers in the rain.
I turn down the radio and my mother tells me on speakerphone that it’s not a cyst;
her mother has cancer.
Somehow I thought she’d live forever
but at the stop sign, I am reminded of the finitude of life. On and off and
on and off. The wet pavement glistens
as the street lamp disrupts the darkness.
At the red light, there’s a silent tear
for every drop
on the windshield as my sister shoves
hollow words of comfort with a quivering voice
I do not know who I am
when grief so premature, so primal
explodes from my chest
as I scream at my key stuck in that ugly turquoise door.
I am grieving for her.
and for the piece of me
that didn’t know this finitude
this awakening of impermanence
of that foggy street with a fractured flickering lamp.