Your Requiem

The first thing my mother did,

when a boy broke my heart,

was open the windows.

She said that

letting in the air, and

erasing his smell

from our house

was the first step to a




I lie that night,

in a house that no longer smelt like home

and wished for peace,

a white flag against

the tumult and chaos inside my heart.


I’ve known

many different kinds of love:

hard loves,

soft loves,

my mother’s love,

my father’s,

but your love,

even through your aging eyes and

shaking hands,

was one of my favorites.

It was a quiet love.

One that lived in

worn-out jokes and

dances in the living room.

It was a pure love.

Through tears and trials.


The other day,

you looked at me,

and smiled and

told me you were going to the zoo,

so all the women could

‘check you out,’ and

I laughed because it was so you.

So you.


It’s okay to let go,

you know,

I whispered when no one was listening.

You closed your eyes and smiled.


When I was young,

we used to dance in the living room to

Anita Bryant and

Elvis Presley.

There were bright and shining


when we would hop in the car and

drive around,

singing at the top of our lungs, and

it’s this you I will remember,

and tell your great grandchildren about.

It is this you,

that will live on in my dreams, and

this you,

that I will let linger in the air,

a smell as familiar

and kind

as the morning sun upon

freshly planted flowers.


This poem is about: 
My family


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