Everything is a first
after she dies—
The first breath
after the last heartbeat,
the first step away,
the first glance back.
The first fall of night and
the first turning down of the covers.
The first sleepless night,
the first full moon to light the vacant bed.
The first sunlight of the first dawn.
The first vacant stare at a broad new day.
The first time in a grocery store.
The first meal cooked.
The first laugh and the first guilt.
The first time back to work,
the first time sick,
the first time a doctor asks,
“How are you holding up?”
The first lie when you’re tired
of telling the truth that you are sure
everyone is tired of hearing.
But they keep asking.
The first time that song plays,
the first time back to that restaurant.
The first day off,
the first vacation,
the first smile in someone’s direction,
the first time you share your bed.
The first month, first year,
the first time you fall asleep
before you say goodnight.
The first birthday, anniversary,
the first time you almost forget one.
The first time you do.