Audrey Kemp is a journalist, photographer, and poet. In May of 2020, she lost one of the most important people to her unexpectedly. Writing proved to be the best means through which she could address this irreconcilable loss and isolating grief during the pandemic. She hopes the publishing of this intimate series might be of some catharsis or solace to another facing a similar plight.
the rituals exist,
to face what can’t be fixed.
you ask me when the weight will lift:
a question morally remiss.
space and time, suspended
leave the wounds, unmended.
with no warning, he ascended —
not the ending I projected.
he visits me in dreams;
he radiates, and gleams
yet out of reach, in foreign scenes —
scenarios no closure brings.
the days will pass me by
and I can’t fathom why —
his essence, luminous, sublime,
the one panacea is time.
The last few months have felt more like years;
I could not possibly count my tears.
Though the shock of it all has faded,
I find myself lonely and jaded.
I lost the one who knew me the best,
My priority before the rest,
The one so stubbornly on my mind,
Always informed and never behind.
Every time I hear music you liked,
Or re-read a text message you typed,
Or think of the things you liked to do,
I cannot deny that I miss you.
Only a few understand my woes,
And the rest are lucky, I suppose,
I think of you and it makes me weak,
I wonder sometimes, “Why you? Why me?”
Since your demise, time has slowed down,
And I have grown callous and sour.
I looked for answers; what I found,
Is to take it by the hour.
Are you the monarch butterfly,
Who dances in my yard each day?
And when I whimper to the sky,
Are you hearing the words I say?
It’s not as if I have a choice;
If I did, you know what I’d do.
I’m learning I won’t hear your voice,
And learning how change changes you.
My emptiness will ebb and flow;
I try and fail to find meaning.
Why you suffered, I’ll never know,
And I don't see an end to grieving.
I scan the horizon
Rife with wanton cruelty,
I blather to you
Wondering if you hear me,
I attempt to go on
But my efforts are paltry,
And now that you're gone
I’m woefully lonely.
Has become a habit,
But months have dragged on
And I still cannot grasp it;
I cannot deny
I’m perpetually saddened,
But I won’t pretend
That you never happened.
Pinter and Reilly
And Barthes and Artaud:
The artists and writers
Who comprised our code,
The subjects of banter
That endlessly flowed,
Will now serve as escorts
Down my arduous road.