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.

of age/ twenty/ two years.

of age/ twenty/ two years.

I turned twenty recently,

in the past,

I would be “of age.”

No debutante, am I.

I don’t feel more adult than I did

a week ago,

but looking back, I know I am.

two years ago

this blog began as

a place to

vent my spleen,

show my poor, lacerated teenage heart

to an anonymous and unknown audience.

Unbeknownst to you readers, I am more adult now.

Two years ago,

or even a year ago,

I would agonize over text messages to boys who ultimately did not matter,

composing them scores of love and affection that could never be reasonably returned.

Now I agonize over emails to recruiters,

and currently I am more anxious about

gaining a job this summer and a lease for next fall

than my nonexistent lovers.

I loved the balloons,

they were perfect when I chose them at 17, when I turned 18, and still good

when flew into 19.

19.

Brick wall, mountain to climb.

Window to jump through,

doors to lock.

Chances to take,

friends to make.

People to meet,

hands to shake,

hands to hold.

Felt abject terror,

love, grief, and compassion

after I turned 19.

Good bye 19.

I turned 20 recently.

Thank you for reading Poems by her.

Today is the two-year anniversary of its birth,

and I want to say thank you, whether you are a first time reader

or have followed me through the rollercoaster of absences and depression and pure joy and poems.

Thank you!

Honey Part II- Mi abeja se pierde

Honey Part II- Mi abeja se pierde

Mi abeja se pierde,

My bee is lost.

Honey is gone.

We ran off the table and

made it sticky and

it hurts to look at the places

where we fell so

beautifully in the

sun.

Honey is gone

but my inspiration is not.

honey is gone

but I am not destroyed

because I am stronger than that now

no more crying for boys

even if he did deserve me.

Honey is gone

so suddenly there is still golden remnants

on my bed and on my counter top

and in my laundry and on my desk

and most of all in my mind.

Honey is gone and

while I am bereft I am not broken.

Honey is gone but now I know

he wasn’t the one.

Honey is gone and I was right, there will only be a PART I.

I miss you when I wake up because I remember waking up next to you.

I miss you when I go to sleep because I remember how only two days ago we said goodnight.

I miss you when I eat breakfast alone again.

I miss you when I do my laundry because I remember our long conversations in the hot folding room.

I miss you when I listen to music that we loved together.

Honey is gone, but I still remember the sticky taste in my mouth as if it was yesterday, because it was only yesterday.

My chest aches and my eyes water as I write this, but I’m fine and I forgive you already.

Oh honey. We should have been more than what we were

but we weren’t.

the artist is gone.

the artist is gone.

she did it,

she finally died

in her sleep, in the night,

like we always hoped.

It doesn’t feel real yet,

that the artist,

the survivor,

the women who struggled so hard to fight

such a savage disease,

is now gone

gone

gone.

Thank god, we labeled the paintings

before she left.

Why didn’t I capitalize that?

Maybe, because she never did…

The artist is gone,

she left while her cat was still in her bed,

and her family was around her,

and my grandfather told her she could go.

The artist is gone.

profound moments

profound moments

I am sitting,

you are standing to the right of me.

The book is open:

“A yit kadash a yit kadar a yit amen…”

She is standing now too.

to my left.

I am in the center,

still chanting.

She stretches her arms,

riddled with veins and arthritis.

They hold each other, still chanting.

I am sitting in the middle,

I chant too.

They are shaking,

but this,

this is what true friendship is.