*This was my first attempt at 'freestyle' poetry in my creative writing class, and probably also a desparate cry. 31 creative writing students heard it; one Ben did not.
In a cheerful yellow house
at the end of the block,
our son took his last breath
from blue lips
and the color drained from our world.
I live in his memory;
you live to forget.
One foot in front of the other,
around a little white box of ashes.
A box of baby’s ashes is quite small.
"It’s okay if you two don’t make it.
No one expects you to," they say.
They are right.
We are changed.
We are broken.
Most couples fail this test.
But this is not a test; It’s us.
I want you to love me
even with this hole in my chest.
I want to love you
even when you smell like you’ve been trying to forget.
I pretend to sleep
while you pretend to sneak,
tiptoeing into your clothes and collecting your keys
though our eyes have locked
while unsaid words hang between us.
The doors close,
locks click into place,
your engine grumbles to life and fades as you drive away.
I’m left with the sounds of an empty cradle
and an echo
that I long to release to you:
"Please don’t go, too."