In Memoriam: The White Door: A Poem

I cleaned out your room.

I spread my arms around your clothes,

My face in your closet, I inhaled you,

I lingered there, first thing in the morning

I came to you, I had to open the door, the

Elephant in the flat, I needed to know what

Was there instead of what wasn’t.


My face on your pillow. My body on your bed.

The air that I let in. The cat on your backpack.

Staring at me. Where is he. I sit here. Where is he.

I look at your mints. I look at your plants.

I don’t know how much water they need.

I greet you in the morning, first thing.

I walk into that room. I light candles for you.

I put my fingertips on your face, the photos on the wall.


I’m afraid of the dark.

I misinterpret the dark.

I feel your fear. My mind makes me go there.

Where it hurts the most. Things I never wanted to imagine.

I’m walking through them on repeat.

Toxins in my body. You left your teacher’s bag on the bridge.

And you were no more.

I asked her to bring me that bag.

I touched it, slowly, carefully,

Bit by bit, your companion that morning,

When you were running late,

When I had no idea what was happening,

What you were about to do.

That grief would besiege me in a heartbeat.


I looked inside of the bag,

Burning on the inside, longing for you,

Aching, your name, all there is, and I

Took that bag with me, I brought it here,

I benedicted it, no darkness, no fear comes close to it.


I cleaned out your room and I’m wearing your clothes.

I feel you on my skin and it heals.

I open the door, the white door, and know what’s there

And what I keep.

pillar candle near clear glass window
Photo by Rene Asmussen on

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