I wrote this while contemplating how shocking it is in the midst of grief to realize the world continues spinning even though it feels like it should stop with the passing of someone you love so much. The first time I experienced this was when my parents died and I stopped to get gas on my drive home–I almost couldn’t believe that the gas attendant didn’t know what had happened.
The mundane continues despite death,
like having to get gas at three o’clock in the morning after
your rotary phone rings to deliver
the message that your parents have died. You wonder
what the gas attendant thinks about you
and your puffy eyes. You wonder
if you should tell him: I have reason for crying—
my parents are dead. DEAD. But you realize
the wonder of the world continuing—phones
still ringing, gas still pumping, money
still exchanging—distracts you as you inhale
second-hand smoke, wishing you were high
and this were all a dream.