This Is Not The Poem You Asked Me For

Dave Walters
Dave Walters

this isn’t the poem you asked me for. (fin)

there is a word puzzle book on top of the black shelf,
haphazard and unfinished,
with a half burnt bamboo scented candle and glass of water surrounding it.
it nests next to the book shelf that houses your keepsake urn…
the remembrance photo i turned over and over
is trying not to slide off.

did you know i shook your urn after running upstairs to my old bedroom?
i heard something inside
and i wasn’t sure if it was my birthstone you had in your family ring…

that you wore forever

or if it was a piece of bone.
maybe a tooth.
i’m not sure what i was trying to find
and couldn’t tell if i could stomach knowing that i may have just heard pieces of you
because it drowned out your voice.
and i knew the amen i heard so clearly from your lips when that man came to pray for you,
when i haven’t heard you speak at all the whole time i was there…
i was never going to hear your voice again.
i wasn’t going to remember how it sounded.

i read nausea ad nauseum
because i needed to feel the paper between my fingertips
and not your life slipping away.

i’ve always disliked jello
but i had to feed it to you
and i can say for certain orange and green are now the worst
and i can say i REALLY dislike the fact you told me you were sorry
and then couldn’t tell me why because i don’t know… maybe you weren’t strong enough.
so now i think “what did i do?”.
what could I have done to understand?

i remember telling you,
you couldn’t see people because
“we’re you’re fucking kids, mom, we come first”…
and so you died alone.
and i say alone even though our dirtbag aunt was there
but alone because she was there.
if she didn’t arrive when she did,
would you have fought a little harder?
i sometimes seethe with such hatred
because i want myself to believe she killed you.
when she said you waited for her to get there before you passed,
my only fucking thought could be

“bitch, she didn’t wait for you.
if she was waiting for anyone,
she was waiting for me because i’m the daughter,

her best friend,

that never came home.” TC mark

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