There are days you don’t want to fight. Right now I am in it. I live between other people’s words and mine, voices bickering about who deserves the lapel. My grief sits in a cobwebbed corner, knees tucked under the chin. Seething. Its throat aches to scream Shut up all of you, but inertia is comfort. My bed beckons again while my shaky hands dredge beauty from rubbish for art. Sorrow a monotonous tune, like the weeping of this lonesome cunt. I cry because I am two hours behind his time zone always, and maybe that means I am also two hours behind grieving us always. I don’t like losing pieces of him. I fear he is losing mine for good. Do you think one day we will turn into one of those seniors whose remembrances of each other are as outdated as the cigarette-smelling 1960s sofa they sit on from across six feet? I ask the mirror every day. My lungs are scrambling not to collapse in the shower. Every day I sob in the shower. Every day I am a sore thumb under memory’s heavy hammer. There are days faltering is delicious. There are days healing is tedious. There are days you don’t want to fight, but just to live – between the shadow and the light. Right now
I am in it.
Gretchen resides in the chaotic comforts of the Philippines, where she writes poems and creative nonfiction about motherhood, love, grief, nature, and intersectionalities. A finalist in phoebe’s 2023 Spring Poetry Contest and second place in Navigator’s Around the World in 80 Pages 2017 Travel Writing Competition, her work appears in Rappler, Door Is A Jar, phoebe, Maudlin House, Defunkt, and elsewhere. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram @gretchenfilart, or on her website at ourworldinwords.com.