At night, I sneak into my parent’s closet,
and slip into my father’s over sized windbreakers,
and I slide into my mother’s high heels.
At night, when I wear my parent’s clothing,
I act out what they would have said to me, if
they knew I was awake at three in the morning.
I then wobble over to the bathroom,
and lay on their floor until the sun comes up.
This bathroom was the last place I saw them alive,
brushing their teeth and getting ready for work.
This bathroom was the last place that I saw them until they became soot on New York City’s rooftops and streets.
I always wonder if they would be proud of me,
if I would grow into my mother’s shoes and fill the spaces that my father’s arms would have filled in his coat.
I tell my therapist of my nightly routine,
when she asks me about the circles underneath my eyes,
and she wonders, “Why do you do this at night?”
I tell her that, in my past experience,
my demons only come out during the daylight, and nothing bad
ever happens under the cloak of darkness.
She prescribes me medication at the end of our session,
and I tell her that nothing makes sense anymore,
not since they have been gone.
Alone is too natural, too normal for me now.
I don’t tell her that I have soot in an urn on my fireplace mantle.
I don’t tell her that I went out on the streets that day and collected a whole handful of the ash that was floating through the air, and breathed in as much as I could.
I don’t tell her that the last thing I said to them, in that bathroom,
was that I hated them,
so every time I put on her shoes and his jacket,
“I love you, I love you, I love you,”
over and over again.
I don’t tell her that my heart has become ash, too.
I don’t tell her that I lost everything, including myself, in that rubble.
Maybe one day this destruction that has torn down my heart,
will morph into healing,
but for now, I will wear her shoes and his coat,
and hope the demons decide to run away.