And when he died, she wove him into poetry
that she chanted like spells…
Though I started this page as a place to house my essays, in recent months, I decided to place some of my poems and shorter pieces here as well.
-Flight Suit Pocket-
He showed up to Heaven in a flight suit. And They got right into it.
Every lesson, every accomplishment, every struggle was recounted for
him from the book of his life. And he listened.
Then he questioned.
About the girl.
The one he left behind.
The one he made promises to.
So They pulled out her book. And handed it to him.
“She has always been an open book,” They said.
And he read. He got to the end. The blank pages he wouldn’t be in>
And his brow furrowed and he asked (with all due respect) to know
what happens next.
And They smiled and pointed to the pens in his flight suit pocket
and said: “Whatever comes next will be in your handwriting.”
And with that he tore the cap off a pend. And he wrote a word.
A single word. Across the top of a blank page.
And he wrote all the words he could never find for her when he was alive.
Words They promised she could only now understand.
When he lived, he was Earth.
And so was she.
They shaped one another like tectonic plates. Shivering into
But when he died, he became air. So he whispered to her
while she slept, “Remember the arches at Zion.”
When she woke up, she thought of sandstone cliffs. She
remembered all the ways gales had carved majesty into
She remembered air.
And so she lived her life shaped the breaths and the gusts
and the squalls of the wind.
He died under a quarter moon.
The report said if there had been
more moonlight, he might have
seen that he was turning
off the runway.
And in that regard, I relate to her.
I imagine her anguishing over
the idea that things could have
turned out differently if, on that night,
she had been just a little bit fuller.
Just a little bit brighter.
Just a little bit more like what
she was in the process of becoming.
Healing comes in bolts.
It streaks through dark clouds and sears
through every nerve. Every fiber. Every bone.
At first, healing shakes you. Blinds you.
And you ask yourself if it actually happened.
If, really, for a split second…you were happy
If for one sliver, on splintered shaving of a
moment, you held more light inside you than
you imagined was possible.
Whenever I read and obituary, I always find myself focusing
on the phrase, “survived by,” and the list of people who
What irony. To think that any of those people survived
their loved ones death.
The truth is, we don’t survive. We die with them. We die in
them. And all we can do is pray for a resurrection of sorts
to bring us back. We all wait for God Himself to call us
from the tombs of our lives and lead us into the sun again.
The truth is, epithets are not only for the deceased; they are
also for those who live and grieve.
And while there are a seemingly infinite number of epithets
that grief carries with it, the one we all share, for better or
worse, is the simple phrase:
“and they were never the same”
If I could hold this feeling in my hands
and wring it out over paper like a sponge,
I wonder what shapes I would see in the spill.
A Rorschach test on a grief stained page.
The edges of the paper taking on the form of
The smudges slowly shifting into the outline of
The image of the last time I saw him:
Me still in bed. The lights off.
My eyes half shut with sleep.
Catching a glance of him as he paused at the door:
one foot in my room, the other in the hallway.
Him unknowingly hovering between two worlds
and telling me he would see me in a few days.
–Mishap Pilot 1-
He and I once got in an argument, and I asked him
to leave. He was an hour into his drive before I
called him to apologize. We talked for fifty minutes
before I asked him to turn around and come back to
He took a breath and said he was less than ten
minutes away from my door.
That he had turned around the second my name
flashed on his phone.
It reminds me of how the first time he
offered to walk to get me a cup of coffee, he came back
with black streaks pouring down the sides of his hand.
He told me he never actually walked to places when he
Something about time. And how he hated wasting it.
After he died, someone told me that itself is not a concrete thing.
(Only our perception of it is).
That our lives are a series of still images
strung together by its passing.
That time is made real through our eyes, our minds, and the
wear of our bodies.
So I wonder if, after his body broke, he looked at the rest of us
frozen in the time we no longer shared with him.
Did he see us like pictures?
And if so, did he flip through them like pages in an
And did he turn to the images from that last night and find me
sleeping and framed in the bed he built? (I hope he did)
And I hope the feeling that jolted me awake that night was him
as he gazed at the still image of the girl I was.
Seeing for himself how peacefully I slept when I believe I
would be waking up to him
I still hear whispers of him.
And it makes me imagine a parallel world
where he didn’t die, but I did.
And I imagine he and I mourning one another
at the same time,
but in worlds that run alongside
A tight formation
of two realities.
And so, every now and then when I
envision him lost in a frenzy of grief,
I stop what I’m doing, and I say out loud,
“I am still here.”
Just in case he can hear me too.
Before he died, I never understood why people
placed crosses or flowers on the sides of the road to
mark the scene of an accident.
But now, I find myself wanting to walk out to the
spot on the runway where they found his body and
place something of beauty there- some sort of
So that people can see the palace where, once upon a
time -for a brief moment- Heaven and Earth
After he died, I began to say that the rest of the story
of my life would be in his handwriting. But I’m
beginning to realize that it’s deeper than that.
I’m realizing that the life he lived with me is like ink
that, in certain places, bleeds through to the next page.
There’s always traces of it intersecting with the my current
chapter, making certain words bolder, all the while
adorning the white space between words with faint
scrawlings to indicate that, yes, something important
came before this page.
“Our Life Then,” and “My Life Now,” are stories
written on different sides of the same page.
Two stories that,
when held up to The Light,
can be seen simultaneously.
Many people say that when we die, we see our
whole life play out before us. But maybe we
also see what happens after.
How we wove through the lives of people we
loved. How our love sutured theri wounds and
laid out the paths they lived. How things we
said were passed down by friends and lovers.
And even though generations later, no one will
know our name…
How fragments of our goodness sparked up
again and again and again until time itself
She wondered what he saw in her.
She would pull his face close to hers and stare: trying to
make out her reflection in his pupils. Trying to see herself through his eyes.
But all there ever was was the murky outline of a girl
who could be blinked away.
then his eyes shut forever.
But they somehow opened somewhere else, and he was
somehow able to gaze back on the Broken girl he loved.
And then there was light. And her eyes were opened.
Almost as if he was able to live behind them.
And he showed her exactly what He saw.