An Understanding


each time you love
and each time, after it’s all over,
after it’s done,
after the epilogue,
after you close the book and put it
for sale outside, on the sidewalk
for the insects, and the sun, and the rain,
after the casket has been bought,
after the burial takes place,
after all the sad songs and then the happy songs
and then the sad songs again,
after seeing his lips in a stranger’s face on the subway,
or his hands in a teenager as she presses the signal
to cross the street,
or his smile in someone else,
after all that:

it hurts
like the first time
the worst time


you know


at least

you know

how to love.

If you grieve a thing,
it means you loved a thing.

If you can survive the grief,
all it means is that
you can love again.

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