Eye-watering spicy curry
at the hole-in-the-wall Thai joint
Later, crying in the rain
on the way to buy ice cream
images that do not fit together
Because how can I still laugh
at how my shirt is now splattered with coconut sauce
when I just cried in the entrance to dinner
as my mother called to tell me the news?
Maybe in the same way
that I can immediately want to sit down and watch Casablanca
even as I feel an overwhelming sadness
and know that the worst of the grief is not yet upon us.
And maybe also in the way
that I know I do not believe in conscious life after death
even as I run through every prayer I can remember
in the hope that she is somewhere I will eventually visit.