You have to grieve for him—
they tell her all the time.
But he is not dead. He sends her emails— modern day love letters, full of ellipses.
Hope takes pictures of herself in her yellow dress, radiant.
She sends him the images, her eyes full— naive, ready with belief.
Grief dresses herself—pillbox hat, itchy black netting.
Hope has a hat like that; it gathers dust, she’s never worn it.
Grief is surely for widows—wrinkled faces, crow’s feet behind Jackie O glasses.
Hope remembers resting
her head on his chest, his heartbeat in her ear.
You have to grieve for him— they tell her all the time.
But he is not dead. He texts her sometimes— tiny telegrams, X’s and empty spaces.
Amy Schreibman Walter is an American poet living in London. Her work has appeared in journals on both sides of the Atlantic, and her debut chapbook, Coney Island and Other Places, was published by Lulu Press in 2013. Amy co-edits the online magazine here/there: poetry.
Amy Schriebman Walter
Hope in a Yellow Dress
The Best Writers
Bombed the SAT
The Money Weapon
When the Map's Crease
Becomes an Axis
Elizabeth Kate Switaj