You like this song?

It’ll take me a while to correct the tenses of my knowing, having known: I close my eyes and even in the pitch-black darkness of my own making, the image of him as gray, as stone, as sepia refuses to take like bait only half-swallowed. His name ends with an s, as if he is sunshine born to recur: drives, dives, sits, surfs, climbs, laughs. The thing they don’t tell you about heaven or resting in peace or being in a better place is that it is a visceral thing for those left behind, a tactile loss. Soft cotton shirts, sneakers stepping on the gas, long hair blowing in the breeze–fallen through a trap door, snuck into some invisible sleeve, exit stage left. The rules of grammar are simple, my refusal even simpler: let life encircle my errors in continuous, bleeding red–I refuse to speak in a way that says he has not been allowed to exist in the same world as everything he loves (sic.).

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