“Trying to comprehend” by Sasha at Casa Violeta

Tuesday October 10, 2017
3:47pm
5 minutes
from emmadawn.com

Snaking through the jungle, the buggy bumps so hard that my head hits the ceiling. “Are you okay?” Jose, the driver asks. I nod, but I’m dizzy. I think back to when you climbed into my hospital bed and held me as I wept and wept. “Are you okay?” You said, with one hand on my belly. I wept and wept.

I can hear the ocean when the buggy lurches to a stop. I take a deep breath. “Seniorita?” I smile at Jose. “You are here!”

“I am.”

“Enjoy your stay.”

“Yes.”

“more than 20 pages” by Sasha on her balcony


Monday September 11, 2017
1:15am
5 minutes
from bcartscouncil.ca

I haven’t written anything in forty three days
I feel like shit
I want to live in my bed amongst stray hairs and dust bunnies
I won’t take the dog out
She can shit on the balcony in the herbs I haven’t watered

This is what you tell me

I hold your grief for the millionth hour
And I watch as you fall into her like a lover
I cradle your grief here in this public space
In this shop where there’s croissants and babies

We are etched into one another’s star signs
We are tattooed on our guts
We are sisters here in this hot asphalt jungle
Cars honking and streetcars lurching

This is what I tell you

“Host art classes” By Julia at her desk


Saturday August 26, 2017
11:50pm
5 minutes
from a business card


“I think we should buy the warehouse like we talked about.”
“With what money, exactly?”
“Your money. I know, I know–”
“It’s not really my money, you know that right?”
“Well, he left everything to you so whose money could it be?”
“No, obviously, but it doesn’t necesarily feel right to spend it all on an abandonned building because you have a good idea.”
“I am not trying to make you do anything you don’t want to do. But think of what it could be: A place where artists come to create, where they can put on their own events, where we can host classes. Come on, it writes itself.”
“It’s not that easy. I have to make sure I’m using his money for the right thing. This feels like a lot of work.”
“Everything in this life is work. Look, I know I’m asking a lot of you, but you know me. I wouldn’t be suggesting it if I didn’t believe in it. And you have been floating since he died-”
“Am I not allowed to be sad?”
“Of course. Of course you are.”

“We assumed he did.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday August 22, 2017
9:44pm
5 minutes
Equus
Peter Shaffer


We assumed that he’d be okay. We thought that he was invincible. He thought he was invincible. After a month of sitting beside him in the hospital, we start to lose sense of time. Days blur to hours and minutes slam weeks. Grief is thick in these buildings. We make bad, morose jokes. Toby starts smoking again. Ivy texts from Delaware but we can’t loop her, it’s impossible. You have to be here, I say, finally, on the phone in the gift shop. I pick up a stuffed bear and hug it.

“I had been able only to grieve” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday May 2, 2017
8:58pm
5 minutes
The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion


Grief is a sister to
all of us I’ve come
to know this now better
than ever

These days
she sits in the lotus
position
in my throat

unnamed
untamed
uninvited
unbelievable

She wags her finger
at the lazy zeal of
a screen made of mirrors
chasing a time before
the dollar signs and the
gas station blow jobs

“I had been able only to grieve” by Julia on the couch


Tuesday May 2, 2017
8:50pm
5 minutes
The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion


we lost our muscles
left them somewhere between here and there
the radio show was static familiar
we counted the clicks and the white noise like ducks in a row
we are not walking or running
the streets are filled with other people’s shoes
we had no time for writing cards
to express condolences
to each other
there were too many floors to find
too many beds to melt
too many casserole dishes to wash
we promised to press our palms together every hour
to remind us what living flesh felt like
the telephone had to be disconnected
too many hearts bleeding on the line

“We talk all about our relationship” by Julia in her bed


Sunday November 6, 2016
11:28pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio

It’s been sixteen weeks since I’ve seen you. Sixteen weeks since we’ve talked. You told me not to be surprised if you one day couldn’t stand talking to me and now that day is here. I can’t say I was surprised or not. You’re not here. I’m grieving. I don’t have time for surprise.
I wish I hadn’t made you hate me to the point of I told you so. Sixteen weeks when the longest stretch before that was sixteen hours. I don’t know what days mean anymore. I don’t know what minutes are. I’m dying for you to forgive yourself for loving me so you can come back and get the real loving you expected.

“You change when you want to change” by Sasha on the 99


Monday May 16, 2016
10:37pm
5 minutes
huffingtonpost.com

You leave me letters in the mailbox, even after you’ve died. You’d warned me this might happen, shelling peas in your hospital room a few weeks ago. I laughed and kissed your toes. You always changed when you wanted to change, not before, not after, just then.

I’m smoking all the weed that’s left, once the sun goes down and Liam is asleep. Kali is scared I might become addicted but I tell her to fuck off and let me grieve the way I want to grieve. I miss you so much my throat swells. I miss you so much my gut aches for the smell of you.

“In just 10 months you have come a long way” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday May 3, 2016
10:53pm
5 minutes
From the Twitter account of the woman sitting in front of Julia

Grief looks good on her. At least that’s what people keep saying. Not directly, but that’s what they’re saying, under the tight lipped smiles. Mostly other women. Sometimes men, but it’s quiet, it’s less direct. She’s running every day, because she can’t sit still. Her feet shuffle when she’s at the table, opening the mail. She tries to write in the journal that her sister sent her from the New Age gift shop, but the pen won’t move. Meanwhile, her knees jump. She runs in the ravine, where the trees haven’t really changed since she was a child. She starts drinking all of her meals, unable to chew, almost unable to swallow.

“all that we went through” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday April 16, 2016
5:31pm
5 minutes
Back to Black
Amy Winehouse


I don’t feel right writing this. You’ve been gone for one month. I know you said it wouldn’t bother you if I saw other people once you said goodbye, but everyone else is saying it’s too soon. I met someone. I don’t know if he’s my one, but he’s someone and it feels nice to be with a man that isn’t dying. Your mother is still angry at me. She thinks I am mistreating your memory, disrespecting what we had. But the worst part is, I know I’m not doing anything wrong and I know that when you told me you didn’t want me to mourn you for long that you meant it. I still love you, I always will. I would have died with you if I could have but it doesn’t work like that. I wanted to thank you for being so understanding and trusting and knowing that me dating someone else does not mean I’ve moved on or that I’m okay or that I wanted to be with someone else this whole time. Nobody outside of us can know what we went through and what we talked about and what we decided together. Now all that’s left is my side of the story and no one seems to want to believe me when I say it’s okay that this is happening and you wouldn’t be upset. I don’t know how long I can keep justifying myself in the eyes of your family or my family. I miss you more than life.

“a finger in each mouth” by Julia at her desk


Sunday November 22, 2015
8:11pm
5 minutes
From a poem by bell hooks

I can’t read what you wrote because it hurts me every time
like a knife in my side
like a drill in my spine
I can’t see your doctor-prescription-careless-anarchy penmanship because it reminds me that you don’t have any respect for what I do
Your o’s look like d’s, your d’s look like meteors
your ripped napkin with the tomato sauce stain letterhead of our kitchen makes me cry
The part scratched out that I wish to God I could read haunts me
You told me you were leaving me on a garbage scrap and then left it on the fridge next to the photo of us rubbing noses

“Rainfall warning” by Julia on her couch


Thursday November 12, 2015
10:31pm
5 minutes
from the weather network

Hasn’t stopped raining for weeks. Grant called last night to tell me he was sorry and wished he could have stopped by more. I told him not to worry, there were enough people coming by the house to make sure I was getting out of bed. He asked if Mary-Beth made he famous Parmigiana and I said yeah, for the third time. Hasn’t stopped raining since. When I found out, Grant was on his way over to drop off a pair of winter gloves for Owen so he was there when it all hit. He gave me a long hug and told me it was going to be okay. I didn’t let him leave me that night and he’s still acting strange about it. I don’t know why he feels bad, nothing matters anymore. I’m the one who has to live with it, and all I know is life is pretty short so nothing fucking matters. Hasn’t stopped raining for weeks.

“with the theme of fear” by Sasha at the table at Pascoe Rd.


Monday November 9, 2015
1:17pm
5 minutes
ionmagazine.ca

The night she dies I get a text from a bartender
I sometimes fuck
I wash my
face I get on my
bicycle and I go to
his house
On the way
Somewhere east of Dupont
My chain falls off
I can’t stop the tears
Can’t stop the oil from getting
on my dress
I arrive too close to morning
too far from my father
He lights a joint and the promise
I made to myself not to tell him
Undoes like the clasp of my bra
Naked I’m a puddle of chipped nail polish and
missing
He’s a father so he knows
how to soothe
He rubs my back until I’m hiccups and
when we fuck he’s gentle
he knows just how to look me
in the eye
I leave before I can feel grosser before
I can taste the tinniness of shame
My tongue heavy in my mouth I sing
under my breath
Up the hill on the way
home

“amazing work” by Julia on her couch


Friday, October 23, 2015
9:44pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

I had been trying to catch his attention for, if I’m counting, the last twelve years. Huh. Wow. That’s more than I thought I’d admit. Was hopeful. I mean, who wasn’t at that age. But I guess it’s not fair to take it personally. He wasn’t not loving me, he was just, not forgetting her. I don’t know if I would do it any differently than that myself. I’ve never lost a child so I don’t get to pretend to understand. But weeks bleed into months and then years, and it all just feels like the same nightmare, playing over and over or just continuing without resolve every 16 hours. This time it was a scholarship that I was awarded because of my application letter about him. I wanted to show him. He wanted to drink.

“I would like to invite you” by Sasha at Benny’s


Friday October 9, 2015 at Benny’s
3:20pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I don’t know what to say. I’m afraid that when I open my mouth I’m going to say the wrong thing. I’m afraid I’m going to ask how Judd’s doing, if he’s been playing his guitar in the hospital. I don’t know what to say so I would like to invite you over for pizza. I’m going to make it. I’ll knead the dough and let it rise and it will be thin, how you like it. I won’t put tomato sauce on it, because tomatoes make your tongue feel strange. If you bring Judd up, I’ll listen. I won’t change the subject because I don’t know what to say. I’ll give you a massive ball of dough to take home so that you can make pizzas all week. I’ll loan you my pizza pan. I’ll kiss your eyes. I’ll let you sleep over.

“the result of a period of research” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday, August 27, 20151
8:36pm
5 minutes
Presence of Minds: The Importance of Active Exploration and Response in Dramaturgy
Christopher Michael Petty


I find I’m less lonely when the radio’s on. I’m sorry to be speaking about my loneliness again. I find that when the radio’s on I think less about Gwen and more about the whole wide world. Like the wars and the orphans and the earthquakes and global warming. Strangely, it doesn’t depress me like it used to… It used to really throw me for a loop. I actually remember saying to Gwen, “I can’t watch the news anymore, dear. Makes me feel so helpless and sad.” She’d draw spirals on my palm with her pinky.

“It has nothing to do with you” by Sasha on her porch


Saturday, August 22, 2015
10:31pm
5 minutes
Art & Fear
David Bayles & Ted Orland


When Moses comes home, you will reach for him like you once did. He will turn towards you but shake his head slow, like rain moving across the water. You will ask him what he saw, what he did, what he didn’t do. He will turn away, like summer does in September, and turn on the TV. You will be patient for days, for nights, for months, until one day you will reach for his hand. He will extend his open palm. You will put your cheek in it, a puzzle piece, and he will finally cry. A tsunami is often caused by an earthquake. You know this, and you will feel the ground shake. The tears don’t stop until the moon hangs drunk on the horizon. The wave comes in.

“I see four stages” by Julia on the bench outside Baldwin Laundry


Friday, July 10, 2015
4:08pm
5 minutes
On Writing Zion
Maureen Stanton


Day One:
listening at the door to see if Alistair is still crying into his pillow
making sure he knows he can talk to me if he needs to
hoping that if he needs to he doesn’t bring up Deb
knowing that if he’s going to, he’s going to bring up Deb
preparing to talk about Deb
hand-washing the kimono Rufus stole for me at the charity drive
listening to Marco Beltrami to help focus my intentions

Day Two:
Consoling Alistair again about Deb
Using kind words with him like Easy Does It, There There Sweet One, I’m Not Going Anywhere
Wearing the kimono in front of the mirror to test it out
Deciding to wear the kimono loosely tied when dealing with Alistair
Figuring out ways to move my body naturally so as not to arouse suspicion when dealing with Alistair
practicing the look of genuine understanding and concern mixed with attraction

“And she put her arms around me,” by Sasha on the 99 going East


Tuesday, July 7, 2015
6:10pm
5 minutes
A Complicated Kindness
Miriam Toews


Fiona put her arms around me and coo-ed in my ears, “Shush, baby girl… Shushhh…” I cried until I couldn’t cry and then I cried more.

The next morning I charade as okay and eat too much granola and then feel sick.
“Can’t go to work today,” I say, rubbing my belly.
She keeps her eyes on her grapefruit and says, “Go on. It’ll do you good.”
I go but regret it.
My boss tells me I “look like a bag of shit.” He’s right, but has some nerve saying it. Henrietta jumps to my rescue and says, “Allergies, eh? So bad right now.” She winks and it feels like a kiss on my temple.

When I get home, Fiona has left me pancakes on the counter with a note that says, “Breakfast for dinner!” And a smiley face.
And a heart.

“Can I get you anything?” by Julia at her desk


Monday, June 8, 2015
3:12pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Culprit Coffee Co.

Then suddenly I was at his funeral and his mother had asked me to say a few words. I didn’t want to say any words at all, maybe for the first time in my entire life, even. I was angry at her for even suggesting it, as if she knew I couldn’t say no even though I feared that saying anything at all would break me into a million pieces, beyond repair and reassembly.
So I started to write out a dedication to my fiancé and realized it would take years to truly honour him properly. The way I was headed, I was lucky if I could get past writing his name without weeping uncontrollably, no matter where I was or how much I had just cried over him. I didn’t want to seem weak, but what if I couldn’t read anything when it was time? What if the only thing that came out was a pained shriek or a wimper?

“You saw her bathing on the roof” by Julia in her childhood bedroom


Sunday March 1, 2015
11:56pm
5 minutes
Hallelujah
Leonard Cohen


I’ve seen all your parts
Tarnished and familiar
Bruised from being too sensitive
And taking a world’s beating
You glow sometimes
under the proper light
When the pain is dimmed down low
And you feel safe in you skin
When you trust yourself enough
To thank your demons for their good fight
And to put a stop
to any future breakage
I’ve seen all your parts
Bathing in the haze of the moon
Your heart creaks
when it’s been walked over
That’s how you recognize the enemy
That’s how you know when to rebuild the wall
And the faint memory of it cracking
Keeps you far away from me
Even though I’m here to hold you
Even though I’m here to hold you

“Can you see anything?” by Julia on Amanda’s couch


Saturday February 28, 2015
3:05am
5 minutes
overheard at Amanda’s house

I begged Birdie to let me have a look but she told me I was being impatient and to show some courtesy. When I asked her what courtesy meant she shushed me so fast it sounded like a bullet was zooming right past my face. It was my idea in the first place to “borrow” uncle Ray’s ladder and creep up the side of the fence. Birdie didn’t trust me with being the first set of eyes on Old Annabel Winkler because she was convinced I wouldn’t be able to
control my laughter and I’d give away our hiding spot in seconds. Then she got up there and all she was saying was “ooh” “woah” “oh my gosh” and “no way!”

“Can you see anything?” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday February 28, 2015
11:30pm
5 minutes
overheard at Amanda’s house

It hadn’t happened in a while, so when it did she was extra surprised. I mean, she’s always surprised, but it’d been seven months since she’d awoken with that thud. It always started the same, like she was being dropped into her bed from the ceiling. She woke, swore, and also said, “AGAIN?!”

It had started just after Monty died. She knew it was him. She said, “Hi, Monty,” that first night because she almost had expected it. Every night for twenty six weeks he would visit, usually around one or two in the morning, when he used to go to bed. Once, she asked Pauline to sleep over. “I wanna see if you see it, if you feel it too,” she’d said. Pauline had slept sound as a puppy. In the morning, over granola and tea, she’d said, “I honestly think it might be in your head, honey… Are you seeing the grief counsellor?”

“Titus and Louise” by Sasha at Great Dane Coffee


Thursday February 12, 2015 at Great Dane Coffee
2:50pm
5 minutes
a storefront window on Dupont St.

Michael died on Tuesday
I only met him once
Two summers ago
Walking across Langavin Bridge
Still thinking about his performance
His words
His spooked character
Abducted by aliens

I can’t shake the sadness
A coal of grief in my throat
I keep re-reading the article
in the Globe and Mail
A strange comfort in the facts
The newsprint

A pile-up on the Saskatchewan highway
A snow storm
A car with three others
Artists and activists
All of them killed

The coffee bubbles on the stove
The trees are starting to blossom
in Vancouver
All across the country
Other coals of grief burn
Brighter
Lighter
A crow calls
I look

“Celebrating those who had died” by Sasha on a log at Kit’s Beach


Monday February 9, 2015
8:11am
5 minutes
The House Girl
Tara Conklin


It begins like every other day. Maggie licks my face until I moan and roll out of bed. She runs down the stairs and I open the back door to let her out to pee. Then I go, in the downstairs bathroom. I let her back in. I fill the kettle with water. Mike is still sleeping and the boys are playing in the room. They whisper breakfast orders. “Granola! French toast!” Mike’s on the night shift so he sleeps til at least two. I get the boys dressed and…

I’m sorry. I just realized that I still have my wedding ring on. Isn’t that strange? It’s been… nine months and I’m still wearing my God damn wedding ring.

You know it’s bad when two police officers show up. One? It’s probably something with the car being in the wrong place, or there’s been a weirdo hanging around the playground again. Two?

I don’t remember which one said what. I don’t remember what I said, or if I said anything or…

“Confronted issues of racism, identity and social tension” by Sasha on the 16


Sunday February 8, 2015
4:12pm
5 minutes
http://www.ago.net/basquiat

How to forget about yourself – A step-by-step guide
1. Don’t smile at yourself in the mirror. In fact, cover all your mirrors with newspaper.
2. Drink lots of water. No juice. No Limonata.
3. Tell your friends to refer to you as the colour of your eyes. I would be “Blue”. You would be “Brown”.
4. Race has nothing to do with it. (Just this once).
5. If you feel one of the following feelings, run yourself a bath, submerge your ears and sing Frère Jacques.
A. Sadness
B. Grief
C. Lust
D. Fear
E. Hunger
F. Ambition
G. Love
H. Fatigue
6. Leave your wallet on the bus.
7. Don’t cancel your credit cards.
8. Go to sleep.
9. Eat mostly canned foods.
10. Tell your lover a secret you’ve never told anyone but yourself.
11. Face them while you do it.
12. I know it seems counter-intuitive to forgetting yourself, but trust me on this one.

“Optimal health” by Julia on a bridge in Venice


Saturday December 6, 2014
5:49pm
5 minutes
The back of the chia seed bag

Mom got sick, mom changed her diet, mom stopped working, mom ate only air and self pity, mom waited for the mail everyday, mom bought a yoga mat she never used, mom began to juice, mom began to sing, mom began to smile, mom began to coach, mom saw her worth, mom hid her grief, mom preached without being preachy, mom reminded us of our lives, mom made sure we knew we were not too young, mom made sure we knew we could help ourselves, mom started saying I love you, mom started laughing at nothing, mom started seeking alternative medicine, mom started smoking pot, mom started sleeping again, mom started resting again, mom had a million phone calls, mom stayed home in her PJs.

“your grief for what you’ve lost” by Julia at her desk


Friday March 21, 2014
12:44am
5 minutes
Bird Wings
Mary Oliver


Sarah-Jane lost her keys the same morning she lost her mind which was the same morning she lost her fiancee, and nobody knows which order it was. They speculate: they think one obvious event would lead to the next. Some call it Murphy’s law. Some would argue in the same breath that Murphy’s law doesn’t even come close to encapsulating what happened to poor Sarah-Jane.
There were reporters on her doorstep trying to interview her. Sarah-Jane was not really up for talking but the first couple times her doorbell rang she assumed it was family or a casserole and answered it without thinking there’d be cameras. Some people are cold and heartless that way. Not allowed to grieve what you’ve lost in peace and solitude the way she so clearly needed.

“in a graceful way” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday January 14, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
12:35am
5 minutes
Stone Poetry
Satya Pattnaik


In a graceful way, I see your unravelling. It started with forgetting that you left the car on, bad, terrible things coming out the wind-pipe. I got home and thought that you were doing what you sometimes do, listening to the radio, too engrossed to leave the freezing cold, red, Honda. I get excited because I’m going to surprise you and scare you half to death. I rarely get that. It’s usually the other way around. But, you’re not there. I go round to the drivers side and take the key out. I imagine someone having found the car here, your prized possession of true adult independence, and driving it away, no sign of anything out of the ordinary. But you are out of the ordinary. Nothing about the dishes in the sink, or the dying spider plants are ordinary. This is the time before the phoenix rises. This is the time when you sprinkle the one hundred and sixty puzzle pieces all over the living room carpet.

“EARLY BIRD” by Julia on the 506 going east


Monday December 16, 2013
7:12pm
5 minutes
From the sign on the wall

Audrey was picking her nose in plain view again. There were many possible judgers but she stopped caring right after Blair decided to jump off the shed roof into a kiddie pool with no water. She had stopped caring about much, if you were adding it up. Not traffic violations, not being polite, not her appearance. Audrey had a hard time caring too little. At first she believed if life was going to end it would be on her terms. She was running red lights every chance she got, she would purposefully buy expired meats from the deli, and she would wait too long to pee just to feel that burn. She wasn’t ready for Blair’s sudden passing at all. She didn’t ask for that. She wasn’t in control. She had decided that she would need to experiment more.

“dropped the iron” by Julia at her desk


Sunday December 1, 2013
7:17pm
5 minutes
Justine’s Birthday
Jean Sheppard


Oh sweet Lila, he mumbled in his sleep, the house plants are looking grim. Lila had been dead for years. Hardy hadn’t had plants for just as long. He was making little progress in getting past his wife’s death. His doctor friend, Kai, had mentioned once half heartedly that he was disappointed by the developments, and Hardy made sure to ignore him after that. He didn’t see the point in paying a friend for his opinion when he could just ask him for it. Hardy was a bit confused and began to believe that doctor Kai was his friend all along, and maybe even in the first place. Kai didn’t want Hardy to feel alone so he took special precautions during their sessions. He’d pay him closer attention and try to laugh a little more when he attempted to make a joke.

“we find out the heart” by Sasha on the porch at Knowlton Lake


Saturday, September 14, 2013
8:04am
5 minutes
Tear it Down (Poem)
Jack Gilbert


We find out the heart is inextricably connected to the shapes painted on the ground
The ones that we etch with pointed toes and dreamscapes of cake batter and mud
We find out the left atrium is filled with salt-water
and the right is bubbly champagne
They balance eachother out
Effervescent illumination of a bit of ache and a chunk of love
The aorta smells of cinnamon and nutmeg and is velvet to the touch
We find out
over time
It happens somewhere around nineteen or twenty
Maybe on a road-trip or while lying naked with a new friend
The pulmonary artery connects directly to the hysterical laughter we can only find when we feel truly safe
We learn
eventually
When we’ve loved and grieved and died and been reborn
The right ventricle holds our heavy secrets
The ones that feel like they are in our toes
Hidden
Locked
Loaded

“No wonder” by Sasha at The Common on Bloor


Thursday, August 29, 2013
4:05pm at The Common on Bloor
5 minutes
Film Festival Preview
NOW magazine Aug 29-Sept 4, 2013


“No wonder,” you thought, the morning you found your younger sister’s journal. You’d spent the last three hours in your room, in the attic, reading it from front to back. The funeral was yesterday and you weren’t sure what to say, or wear, or eat. You’d drifted from the Church to the house, from the kitchen to the bathroom. You’d eaten a few pieces of cucumber dipped in ranch dressing; you’d tried to laugh with your cousins, nod with uncles when they said, “Such a shame. Such a young girl. Such a beautiful girl.” As if, that had anything to do with it. Eventually you ended up in your room, your old room, in the attic, with the slanted ceiling and Picasso prints and strips of photo-booth pictures tacked to the wall.

“Never seen by waking eyes.” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday, April 16, 2013
12:29am
5 minutes
A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky
Lewis Carroll


Only a dream or a lullaby. One your grandmother sang you. One your mother’s best friend cried about the day you buried her. It was a lot of picking up the pieces, and trying to remember. Trying to turn photographs into living incarnations so the room didn’t feel so cold; so empty. We escaped, the rest of us. The ones left to grieve. Escaped only in some ways, trapped in all the others. You said something about butterflies and visions. She’d be in one of those, maybe, or in an ice cream cone, or a baby’s laugh. No one had taken the time to agree on what she’d be and in what sign you’d look for her. Your father wanted butterflies. Your baby sister wanted angels because that’s what she thought owls were. You didn’t know. You thought both would be fine, but there’s a reason you couldn’t fully see it. Your eyes saw it slightly, but your everything else, your soul, saw nothing of the like. Dark and thick. You tried to make it out, to explain to everyone with words what words could not explain. Not a lighthouse, like her best friend suggested. Not a dove or a miracle. Just the sky. Maybe all encompassing sky would be the right one.

“rigidity out of it” by Sasha at her desk


Monday, April 15, 2013
11:08pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Mark Twain

You slid down, back pressed against the wall. You didn’t know that Sondre was watching. You didn’t know that I was there, too, behind him, my breath on his shoulder, a premonition. The front door had just closed. Two men in uniform, spoke, muffled, we were supposed to be sleeping. Sondre was surprised that you answered. You usually didn’t, even in the daylight hours. Maybe you’d peeked through the curtains in the living room, that you’d got for a wedding present from an aunt on his side. I don’t remember her name. We hadn’t seen family in a long time. You slid down, back pressed against the wall. You didn’t let out a sound, but your face showed something I hadn’t seen before. And I knew your face so well, putting me to sleep, waking me up, scolding me for stealing an Oh, Henry! bar, singing me “Happy Birthday.”

‘ONE DRY PINT’ by Sasha on her couch


Thursday, April 4, 2013
11:45pm
5 minutes
from the cherry tomato carton

We could cut slices of the tension, like cheesecake, moist and lemony. Instead we pretend. We’re very good at it. From the outside, no one would know. Actually, that’s a lie. Your sister would know. She would raise her eyebrows and say, “What the heck, you guys?!” It had all started when you came into the kitchen and I was eating a whole quiche. “What the fuck, Kelly?” You said. “I’m… upset -” was all I could say, a little piece of crust falling out of my mouth. “He’s dead, I can do what I want,” I continued, you shrinking your eyes so they looked so much less kind, less green. “You’re going to regret everything you’re doing, Kelly,” you said, like you were smarter than me, like you’d figured out the magical recipe of how to grieve well.