Elegy VII (Metaphors for Grief)
Kathy says grief is like not having your skin on,
but I didn’t feel vulnerable at first, or angry,
and I didn’t cry or smash plates, and everyone
was nice to me, forgave me my general distraction,
made fewer demands on me than usual. I couldn’t
go to parties though.  More than three people
in a room and suddenly I couldn’t handle it.
Also, I started doing weird math with everyone
whose age I know, like that person has now lived
three years longer than my mother, or that person
has five years to go until he reaches the age of 
my mother’s death.  I kept my skin, but the world
had a new gravity, like my mother was now
the center towards which everything pulled.  I’d think
why finish this if Mom won’t see it,  or why
go to work if my mother is dead?  She had never
been the axis my world turned on, but suddenly
everything seemed to revolve around her.  No.
Not an axis.  A skewer.  A spit.
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