I would have done anything for him, I think,
standing above the little tea-colored face. Outside the clouds amass,
their plump bellies scudding the tops of trees,
filling my chest and throat. I hear my father scream
and my stomach clenches into a slick knot. I can’t look at her, the girl who carried a tiny malformed heart for nine months.
She is so small in my peripheral, a child being eaten alive by grief. Wet
moans follow me outside into a circle of curious stares and nicotine
and I wish I could swallow the words stuck in my throat or expel them,
the condolences that feel heavy on my tongue but weigh nothing outside. Everyone looks so small, diminished by that tiny coffin and small hands
perfectly formed, curled as though in sleep.
Later, I’ll look down and see graveyard dirt on my tights
and remember the hollow sound
my white rose made when I tossed it down to him.
I’ll think of him there under the snow,
never knowing how much he was already loved.
Not imagining that a woman he never saw
would do anything to change the outcome,
even steal a little heart to place gently in his chest, like an offering.