by Grace Williams
Now, after everything is done and the visitors have come and gone and the well wishers have sent their cards and my father has cried and so much wine has been drunk that it could float a boat. Now, that the flowers are leftover and fluffing out their petals \ giving over their last inhibitions. Now that the black dress is on the floor and I am alone and don't have anyone else to comfort: I feel like one of those pictures by Matisse that you showed me when I was young, in that big book of yours. The ones where he is too blind to do anything but cut out holes from big colors. The ones where there are nothing but color and space. You have been cut out and everything is blank, blank, blanks. I read so much poetry after you went. I read that after a great pain a formal feeling comes, and that April is the cruelest month, but what I am left with is the negative space of you. How being gone, your gone-ness has created itself. It is a new presence, slippery with undefined edges that I cannot hold onto. It is slipping off the canvas of your life, it is flying out the window, it is not saying goodbye to anyone.