Her doors and windows open on this day,
she would clean her house. Maybe she would call,
meet us at a coffee shop–but she’d bring hers, bought
at the convenience store, three sugars, cream, at least
two espresso shots. She would ignore the pain
in her gut, her leg, grateful for her chance at life.
She leaves it all to us, her essays and her cherished art,
her laugh, her sturdy “Thank you!” when we spoke the truth.
None of it’s diminished by the scattering of death.

There is a creature, black as she was ebony,
exploring my hand. I can’t feel its weight,
its steps. It flies. I’ve never seen that kind before.
And Jackie: I may never see her energy again,
the weariness she bore with the unthinking
of our lives. She had an appetite for treasure
that always brought her home. She’d shout applause,
curse anyone who crossed her, and lived to spite
the enemies she perceived. She was angry,
harsh with critics, dedicated, strong.
She carried Jesus. Good luck, Heaven.
You’re so full you’re slipping love.