The more I stare at your picture,
the less I remember your face. 
The lines don’t match up–
like a map
that’s a little outdated.

I used to think
you’d live forever,
and when that dark day came,
I committed your casket to memory
and the dress you were wearing
and the little bag they gave us
with pieces of you
that will never be whole 

It felt like a concentration camp.
“Take the shoes,
they don’t need them anymore.”
Does death look different
on a child’s face?

“Take the jacket,
the cold can’t nip at them.”
Or am I just
remembering it wrong?

I go back to that map
trying to retrace my steps
and find out
where it all went wrong.

Was it Christmas Eve,
when I wanted
nothing more
to do with you?
Or was it 4 a.m.
when you were vomiting
into a McDonald’s bag
and I was rolling my eyes
because it sounded fake?

What about the times
when name-calling
was funny?
When it was okay
to laugh
and joke
and pick?
What did I know?
I was a child.
am a child.

I am a child
cleaning up
and refuse
and staring 
at some
godforsaken picture
like you.