As loss lives on, she learns
that it survives both homilies and pills,
and grief demands that she acquire new skills.
Her throat so often burns
with easy tears that she becomes adept
at swallowing what must remain unwept.
Although her stomach churns
and sorrow’s weight threatens to bend her spine,
she’s practiced how to act as if she’s fine.
Avoiding ash-filled urns,
her eyes pretend to see past what assails
them every day—an absence sharp as nails.
Because the earth still turns,
she finds a way to spin along with it—
but every breath she takes tastes counterfeit.