Diminishing Returns

Tomorrow my mother is dead

eight years, but today
it could be seven, or six.

Maybe even fifteen.

At a certain point, death stops
feeling like death

and starts feeling like static.

I think we all grieve
in diminishing returns.

More absence

eventually breeds
quieter moments.

I won’t miss work.

I won’t cry into the chest of someone
who both loves me

and is still alive.

I’ll just pack a lunch,
sit in front of a computer

and answer emails.

When work slows, I’ll glance
at the photo

of a dead woman, resting

on my desk, smiling
and still. Maybe

my gaze will linger

an extra moment
for each lost year.