IN THE YEAR AFTER YOUR DEATH I DIDN’T LEARN ANYTHING
BECAUSE WHAT’S LEFT TO LEARN?
There isn’t happiness here—even in that bright
shock of sun when evening gives up the ghost.
Grief, Papa. I’m talking about grief. I
didn’t learn this but somehow called it forth:
resurrected the grief-life.
I see a road-kill kitten—you; I hear a small bat’s sonar, you.
I slept in your bed the other weekend and I am ashamed
to say I slept well, but the next morning
I laid very still. I let that sunshine in the slats of blinds,
thought not about your last day but the one
when I showed up, ash smeared on my forehead
and longing in my palms. Red-faced I cried so hard
for the lover who left and you, you, you tender man,
kissed the crown of my head and said, Oh, Little Girl.
And here was my shining grief pulsing and you held
out your hand, took some of it. You did that well.
And now, one year later I am here. I still have it all.
What is this time we speak of—this expanse of quick-
paced breath—when all I want, just one more time, just
one small-footed fox of a minute, is to be lovely
in front of you. You, the breathing man who I miss.
Erica Anderson-Senter writes from Fort Wayne, IN. Her first full length collection of poetry, A Midwestern Poet's Incomplete Guide to Symbolism, was published by EastOver Press in 2021. Her work has also appeared in Midwest Gothic, Dialogist, and One Art. She has her MFA from Bennington College.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.