a week after you died i dreamed
that you and grandpa were
tea party in heaven. sitting
sanctimoniously on a rose-pink cloud,
about those mundane affairs you witnessed
from up in your living room in the sky.
your masculine pinkies were lifted in the
a funny juxtaposition with your dainty blue china cups.
i wrote an email to you about it.
i detailed the precise economy of my dream because i
wanted to preserve your flesh. i wanted you indelibly
material, just far away. i know you thought you
were going to purgatory, but of course i hated
that notion. i used to imagine you were off
on a business trip instead. maybe your flight was delayed.
i was never good at math but it comforted me to quantify
you, ten fingers, ten toes. to believe you existed in
the same form. that you could hear me talking to
you. i had only to speak louder, toss my words up
and watch their contrails trace the space
then the negative space
of your absence was replaced by the
positive space occupied by violets
growing out of
your ten fingers, ten toes. decomposing, you
spread under the earth, transmogrifying into the
stuff of everything that is, yet you disappeared
so neatly. (poof).
i wanted to dig you up, prop your slender
frame in the passenger seat of the minivan.
sit you at
the head of the dining room table or on the
yellow couch, tenderly place kierkegaard or kant
in your lap. how our world contracted when you
left. an empty chair. a too-big king bed.
did you die because you were
too unadulterated a self to stay?
whether or not you remain,
it must be heaven where you
are. the purgatory is in the empty space
that throbs in the ellipses
of each inadequate clause i
write to you in emails you’ll
Frances Brogan is a junior in high school and an avid writer. She’s passionate about literature, arguing, and social justice.