Missing [While listening to a grief podcast …]

While listening to a grief podcast, I clean out the refrigerator at my parents’ house.

The first problem is: why do so many of the words to depict grief sound so lovely?

Keen, wail. weep.  Bereavement.

I’ve already overused these words. I’ve been inexplicably and wastefully drawn to them for years.

As if now I don’t want to crawl out of my own skin, everything prickly and hesitant, as if a pair of hands doesn’t keep catching and catching in my hair.

Copyright © 2022 by Nicole Cooley. This poem was first printed in Court Green, Issue 21 (Fall 2022). Used with the permission of the author.