“what is enough,” a poem.

what is enough

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” — Anaïs Nin

grief has its way of slipping in
announcing itself with a loud: here i am
its black clothes, black shoes, cold mouth
repeating: i am here, i am here, i am gone

maybe a poem can’t embody the words
needed, maybe a poem isn’t a big enough
container for what is left unspeakable
maybe this is enough: that you were found

cold and no longer breathing, by my father
unannounced, maybe this is what god calls
faith, in his most ironic voice, his sardonic wit
maybe a poem isn’t a kind of death

it’s a welcoming, a uncoiling, a need to unravel
in my poem, i refuse to remember you above me

your pants unzipped, my deep sleep, how i once
said you were a second father

i think this is enough, my poem and my words
i remember you when you first came from west virginia

with two blonde, olive-skinned boys
who will forever be my brothers

i remember the day you asked me for money
on the steps outside, near the living room where

you let yourself undress.

no, this is enough. you were found cold,
dead, alone. a poem can only relay a mirror

and this mirror, this mirror, this black
mirror, my mouth says this is enough

that i grieved the day you shamed me
that i grieved the day you died
and these words are enough, enough, enough.



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