advice for women who have lost their husbands at sea

by Rebecca Rose

At first, don’t move his empty chair.
Let strangers come to you with their butchered griefs
Let them offer you salted meats and dried flowers.
Visit family. Let them comb the salt out of your hair.
Tell them you simply don’t know what to do with yourself.
Wait until the house is empty to fill rotten boxes with his treasures,
Kiss your children and tell them this is what he would have wanted.
Don’t wear your favorite gowns and sweetest perfumes
Until you know the waters have pulled the muscles from his bones.
Sit in his empty chair.