Step one: stay in your room alone, smash your phone against the wall so glass rain coats everything. Swallow darkness like handfuls of pills, or swallow darkness and handfuls of pills, let it boil in your throat so no color comes out. You don’t want to look blue, do you?
Step two: attend the funeral, pretend you’re beautiful in your new black dress, pinch your cheeks so it looks like you’ve been crying . When a stranger says , “I’m so sorry for your loss, your father was a great man.” you say, “I know”
Step three: your mother steals back smoking, trying to make his ghost out of cigarette smoke so she can feel his stubble against her chin one last time, she’s a busted piñata, no candy inside, just silence. Remember to Forgive her two years later. Spend your days sitting in his office chair, don't cry when the arm falls off, don't cry when it stops smelling like him, don’t cry
Step four: stay in your room alone. Clean up the glass, take a sip of the light swirling around your fingertips, realize you’re okay. rewind to the beginning remember him. Write to him Dad, if only you could see me now.
Step five: go back to his chair, kneel beside it like you're about to pray, and tape the arm back on.