By: Danielle Hannah V. Aranda
Artwork by Samantha Denise Torres
This is for you, not dedicated to the dead… where bones and flesh have met their end and degraded into dust and stone — this is yours, this is yours.
Knock the ink to spread the floorboards and leave your untouched work to flicker until dimmed. This is grief, a figure at your doorstep that holds you hostage. It weeps over the daisies and watches as you lovingly gaze into the oven that beckons you to lay inside.
Come inside, mind the weekend disarray of self-help books and Netflix loops as an attempt to save yourself from drowning. The dips in your mattress seem more prominent nowadays. Are you okay?
Shake your head, roll back your shoulders. There is no war in your head. Yet it still feels like the same night every night. The evening does not change, it is still pitch black and the cold in the wind has never left since you did.
This is my grief; not yours.
I do not need to monetize off my turmoil. I should not have to reach for an intangible thing to record my pain, as if it needs beauty to prove it is real. Grief is not poetry.
I simply need to be reminded: I live, and they have lived.