Ada Limón - After You Toss Around the Ashes

When she was dying, it was impossible to see forward to the next minute. What was happening — for whole weeks — was all that was happening and happening and happening. Months before that, I got the dumb soup wrong. How awful. It was all she wanted and I had gotten it wrong. Then, in the airless days when it was really happening, we started to power panic that we didn’t know enough. What should we do with your ashes? Water or dirt. Water or dirt. Once, she asked to just be thrown into the river where we used to go, still alive, but not living anymore. After it was done, I couldn’t go back to my life. You understand, right? It wasn’t the same. I couldn’t tell if I loved myself more or less. It wasn’t until later, when I moved in with him and stood outside on our patchy imperfect lawn, that I remembered what had been circling in me: I am beautiful. I am full of love. I am dying.


Source: Waxwing Literary Journal