Hearing the News of His Passing

How womanly it is to be tucked

away in a small hospital bathroom


I can’t accept is big enough for us.

The words crawl over your teeth


and out your lips to hang like strips

of wallpaper. I stuff a towel in


my mouth and scream. Your eyes

well up with all that history trickling


out as black pearls. Guilt is addictive.

I sense the effort it took you to feel.


Your own face withers and turns down.

How dry my mouth has become.


I want to ask you to leave,

but I’m still screaming.