the grief body [fragment]

by mickharris

the grief body knows things i don’t.

it remembers everything that i can’t, right now, but reminds me every time fingertips or lips trace my skin that it used to feel different than

the lightning sharp crackle that registers as a tickle

but is panic, a too-much-stop-it

under nerves unfurling white flags


the grief body is a delicate system – too much sun and it curls and dies

too much water and it sighs, sloughs gloomily into


untouched by earth.

you can’t feed it enough when it rears and stomachs greedy gulps of shadow, never quite the food on its plate

you can’t calm it when it rages across salt and heat-baked plains to crash senseless

against stone.

or when it curls,


into its own pitted core.


it burns too bright

and dies its little deaths

before i can.