for six years,
you bought the same
milk and sugar–
the organic kind
the doctor recommended
to fight the disease–
you still buy it,
even thought she’s dead

even now,
you still spend five dollars
for a half gallon of milk
and i see it as an ode to her–
an “in memory” of sorts
or maybe it’s a safeguard
so you don’t lose us
like you lost her

our relationship
is tense–both of us
anxious and scared
of the other’s reaction
my memory
of you consists of
strung together moments:

waking up with a cough,
the fireplace roaring from
the living room and i
can hear you moving about
since my coughing woke you
already and you bringing me
a small, clay mug filled
with piping hot black tea
sweetened with clover honey

snacking at a Wendy’s
corner booth with the
sunset clearing away
on the horizon
and you dip your hot
fries into your chocolate
Frosty and i snarl
have you tried it?
and i reluctantly did–
indulging on the salty sweetness

i see you as a mourning
father–every breath
step, and action a
forward motion in grieving
and maybe that’s how we cope?

living our lives,
grieving in tandem
our souls solemnly separate
in a lonely mantra