when I start my daily calm

on the app for free

it starts the same.

how do I feel today?

i have emojis to click

for later introspection

i always pick the same three.

content.

tired.

unsure.

i have never pressed

the happy emoji

i don’t really know what

happy is.

i always feel so deeply

which has been shaped by

loss.

shame.

guilt.

when my favorite cousin

flipped over and over on route 295

that still leads to dreams

of the short time we shared.

playing board games

rolling our eyes at church

i have never gone back to see you

your young adult self frozen

shiny black hair

handsome face

perfectly un-italian nose

i wake up

25 years have passed

a time you never had a chance

to just be.