Ali Black

My friends don’t come over to help me
sort through my mother’s things.
The ashtrays. The bills. The navy blue suits.
No one brings me a home
cooked meal. I don’t belong
to a church so there’s no such thing as a pastor
stopping by to read scripture with me.
The neighbor doesn’t send her condolences.
The world doesn’t stop. No one grieves the way I do.
I can’t find anyone to fry the catfish
the way my mother used to. Hot oil. Good breading.
Her friends don’t resurface before the service
to tell me how my mother was the star of the crew.
I don’t ask anyone to pray for me.