To laugh in the face of death
Means to process the fact that
Someone else is gone
And you absorb none of their pain

Empty, cracked vessel
Clay-brittle with water pouring through the holes
You were porous before, but now you can see yourself slipping

You think of moving to Canada
You think of Gettysburg and the address thereafter
You think of a game of chess, the pieces on both sides falling one by one
taken off the board, put to the side

You don't ask the queen what it's like watching the knights parlay on without her
You don't ask if the king if he's ready for checkmate to be called
You don't ask the pawns if they want to be resurrected
when they don't yet understand what it means to grieve