on life & grief & healing

every time I see the hope in your eyes, the
shimmer of new life within, the
dreams of a new month and new chances, of
new hope rising in the center of your being:
I feel like I can’t catch my breath, like all of my dreams are coming true
when I see your face.

in those precious moments where dreams exist because
they are still the reality we live in — when you don’t know one
way or the other — when the future still seems like the fun place
to dream about and travel to — when your anger has simmered and
we talk about names and you haven’t been hurt just yet — in those moments
I dream the dreams of a dear friend for a dear friend.

and when the calls come and the tests don’t turn and the
numbers don’t add up, when the chances are slim and
the hope has slipped out of your tightly grasped fingers,
the grief that shrouds your face blankets mine, too, if not the same.

I think I have seen grief before but until I saw you
wearing it that first time like
a skintight black dress, squeezing your body tight,
constricting your lungs,
I knew I had never seen it at all.

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