On the morning that my brother died I ate Cheerios for breakfast

Choked down coffee in the car

We were out of creamer again.

Sighed at NPR, sang Gwen Stefani at top volume

Sat between impatient cars

Ran through lessons in my head, should I put out the Play-Doh today? Where had I put the forms for picture day? Was that lady from the central office coming in to observe?
I didn’t know that I would long for these thoughts

Beautiful in their normalcy

My stress laid out before me in neat little piles that I could pick up one at a time

Stress I could make lists about

Stress I loved to complain about, fell asleep thinking about

Stress I could hold in my hand.


Now, my heart is sprawled out and messy

Leaving bloody stains wherever I go

Falling through the cracks between my fingers

And leaving my insides numb.

I stare blankly at my calendar

The days and weeks spread like a sentence, there is no panic

At the deadlines

Only panic

At the endless days.