I almost went to visit the cemetery,
but you are not really there,
just what might be left
of the parts. When you died
your brother refused to look
at the body. That’s not Paul,
anymore, he said.
I did look.
I sat and examined you closely,
a moment after you died, an hour
after, several hours after.
You would have done the same
for me, taking note of the details
of the flesh after life, what changed,
what remained the same.
Your hair still smelled like your hair
when the men came to remove
the body. They would not let me
watch you go.

Instead of the cemetery I went
to Home Depot since it’s on the same street,
but not as far away. How funny
you would find me, navigating hardware,
electrical, plumbing supplies.
The whole place smells like men.
I miss that.
I walked past the yard bags
three times before I found them
and did not know to buy a switch
along with the light. How you loved
meandering the overstocked
aisles, inspecting the intricacies
of toggle bolts, checking lumber for knots
and warping. It’s my turn now.
I am becoming accomplished
in the small details of living alone.
I have learned to shim a table,
tighten a faucet, drill a hole.

Jessica DeKoninck


One Response

  1. I, too, have learned to tighten a faucetm, drill a hole, sleep alone. Although,it evokes tears, I love this poem…

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