Immigration: a one-way inward movement.

The undertow of my mind

gains strength

I slip through the cracks

into my new foreign home

of Grief

I prefer where I grew up

where people die quietly of old age

but I loved a boy not yet 24

who turned the war zone corner of addiction

was hit by a heroin bomb

and his heart

. stopped

shrapnel hit me 20 miles away

yet my heart surged

pumped deafening blood through me

without my consent

my passport stamped

I immigrate

to Grief

I have no travel companions

no other one-way tickets purchased

I get the window seat

New home, new key

it’s heavy

I make multiple copies at the hardware store

for closing my escape hatch

securing the fortress

road blocking familiar avenues of the mind

Immigration: movement of organisms to a specific colony.

Grief is

grey bright blinding

sunshine is out of place

geese fly overhead

I plead

take me with you

street corners, city blocks, times of day:

threatening in Grief

I never used to fear going anywhere

but in Grief, I invest in new armor

learn the new language

catch phrase: I’m fine, how are you?

convoluted explanation: yes I believe his death is my fault and I will continue to believe that until I don’t believe that anymore

morning confirmation: I wake up feeling I will die not because I want to but that the act of being awake will certainly kill me.

Grief is shadow

don’t go too close to the windows

I breathe no…

say yes to yourself, I’m told

feel your feet on the ground

soil used to provide me

support nourishment depth

for my roots

in Grief, the soil is simply dirt

it makes a mess

I’m told

the key to my new home can spark synapses

crack open rusted gates

puncture the lock on my magnificent heart.

I breathe how….

Immigration: increase can strengthen a colony.

I know there are other immigrants in Grief

heroin has leveled

entire neighborhoods

survivors are left picking up pieces

syringes questions regrets

I have a choice

even when it feels like life

or the lack of it

is happening to me

I know

I have a choice

opportunity for roots

some where on an avenue I haven’t walked yet

from a reflection of me I haven’t met yet:

I hope I lose my key

I hope I exit the back door

into Grief


not looking back

my pocket empty

If I forget my key

on the kitchen counter

I could be a neighbor

instead of a suspicious stranger

I won’t have to depend on the turning

and the waiting

and the click

I could walk right in where I was left

every time

I left myself behind

I would be there unlocked

password saved


an unprotected



because Grief is

nothing but space

the void

between me and the no


where once

there was someone