I keep running
into all these concerned people
in supermarkets
and pharmacies,

our friends, your cousin,
classmates, coworkers,
and they knit their eyebrows
and they hum sympathetic
and they keep asking me
how I am coping
without you.

I smile
I tell them
thank you, but
I am okay
I am okay
I am okay

and tear my tongue
on my teeth
every time I say it.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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