Half-life of Sorrow

By Roger Greenwald

is about five years.
The decaying, scintillating dust
sits in the small cells of the lung
and colors your breath,
sits in the marrow and colors your blood,
sits in the bile duct.
The half-life isn’t hard
to understand.
It means the sorrow
will be half gone in five years,
what’s left will then take five again
to diminish by half.
So it will never stop flashing
in your life, though your life
will stop it eventually.