buried our grandmother at what must have been
the warmest hour in December—the sky too blue
to believe. It’s eerily clear, even now as I search
the last photo our father captured that day. Wait,
I remember saying, I still need one with Jason.
Then, leaning in, I couldn’t be sure he’d hold
his breath too, but no distance could keep us
from grief’s contagion. Our unmasked faces
aired, in that instant, our barest resemblance.
In my hair: a satin rose from a college costume
ball; at his feet: the slacks shackling his ankles,
the sneakers he slept in and kept safe at shelters.
His hand is raised, as if to say Wait. I still need—
too much to name. Some illness is better hidden
by medicine than a new black vest, and posing
graveside for photos was the closest we had ever
stood. As our sun sank into its earth, the singular
shadow we made just stretched further beyond us.
Kira Tucker is an artist from Memphis, Tennessee and a current MFA+MA candidate in poetry at Northwestern University. Kira’s work appears in Tupelo Quarterly, The Spectacle, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from the Hurston/Wright Foundation and Tin House.