You Already Knew

You Already Knew

Something ancient in you already knew
how to love the unbeautiful gasp of dying,
how to bury your own bones with your beloved’s,
how to walk yourself, lonely, home.

Even when your grief turned from sorrow
and rose frantic in sweat-drenched dreams
of regret and self-loathing,
of what you might have done and didn’t—

Even when you stirred each morning,
your arms reaching into cool air for his warm body,
which you loved more than anything,
more than your own life—

Even then, your life did not abandon you.

You may have called loved ones by the wrong name for a while,
yelled at an old man selling roses at the corner,
wept in the supermarket and forgot what you love.
But this too, all of it, was your belonging—

Your grief took everything you didn't need to survive.
And you survived.

One day you found your fingers
dancing playfully in the air
in time to a song on the radio,
one that you both loved.

You felt the sun pouring through the sitting-room window
onto your face, onto the face
of the memory of your beloved, who
smiled alongside you, comforting you,

reminding you that the unbearable
tenderness of your love
for each other
made no sense and no demands—

And you became again you,
living in your broken open heart,
at times even befriending
the wild, inescapable ache of your longing.

— Emma Skogstad

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