Three legs

Illustration by the author

The world tilts like a tabletop

When my father leaves.

It spins on an axis I never realized was there.

I cannot find the four corners of the earth.

I cannot find the corners of my grief.

I cannot find anything.

The shape of us changes. No longer a square. Not a circle.

A triangle,

The points of our pain poking inside, outside.

We have wobbled before, struggled upright.

Fixed, braced, bracketed.

But our fourth leg, the one that took the weight we thought we shared,

Has turned to sparks and ash, has returned to the sky, the sea.

Time pulls me into a stream, a line.

I do not want to be stretched. I want to be square again, stable, upright.

A table with three legs will balance.

What shall we do when we are two?

Two legs can balance. We can, we do.

–June 2021

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