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Good Grief

Updated: Mar 25, 2018

A Poem in Five Parts


There must be a right way to do this.

To write emails. To respond. To say thank you. To ask if they’re okay. To wear clothes like it’s no different from two Wednesdays ago.

To clean the bathtub because it is dirty and needs to be cleaned today/right now/no other time where’s the bleach?

I don’t need help, I’m okay.


I spent too much time with breathing, crying people and not enough with you and the glossy box in a room with lots of windows and tables covered with dry Peek Freans and napkins and coffee that reminds me of the old house brew gargling on the green counters that you hated but I loved.


I'll feel better if I do my exams or get a tattoo or puke chunky acid purple on my pillows and leave it and just buy more pillows or frames for my pictures or cigarettes or ice cream or if I play 17 games of solitaire or if I see my friends or if I change my tampon or if I eat a chicken Caesar salad or call mom again.


“How do you feel?”

“I have to pee but I can’t get up.”


On the whole people are good,

and tell you to stay strong,

but I don’t think any of us know what that is.

What I really need is a moment alone,

to examine the damage and rip away at the quiet.

I want to find the tenderest part and touch it.

Pink and orby and salty and wailing.

If this is the place for honesty then I am so, so tired.

But at least I know

there is no right way.

- Hannah Korbee

Hannah Korbee is a Toronto based writer. She has been published in The F Word Vol.II and Vol.III and 6Geek.com. She is a government employee by day, writes poems by night, and stumbles gracelessly through adulthood the rest of the time.