the artist is gone, part II

the artist is gone, part II

a year since my grandmother’s passing

these mercenary words cannot hold

all of the feelings that I contain about this date

they do not carry the weight of my grandfather’s tears

my brother’s sobs.

they cannot hold all of my guilt and grief,

the lifting of a great burden off of my father’s face.

The artist is gone,

but I know what she would think about the mercenary words

that I repeatedly have to sputter out and sell to my friends and professors,

words that are like swords, for defense against enemies that are unseen

but unemotional.

The artist is gone,

but I know she is inside of me,

and it is the oddest feeling,

tracing her handwriting,

learning from the words she wrote years and years before,

when she is sitting in front of me in an urn.

The artist is gone,

but her paintings,

her prolific collection remain in our homes,

on the wall of my apartment next year, in my future showroom.

The artist is gone,

but I look like her,

in a way that is uncanny,

my face is a tessellation of hers at my age.

Her clothes quietly exist in my closet,

and I wear them feeling my grandmother’s hands on my shoulders

guiding me with our shared fashion sense.

Her thoughts about being an artist,

tracing her handwriting,

tell me how to be my own artist,

because she was truly her own.

I love you, Grandma Judy.