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Your Requiem is on My Playlist

Shannon Frost Greenstein

You’d think I’d think you’d think I would think about you less as time passes, but I know you would know I don’t know what else to do.


Your requiem is on my playlist, and sometimes, it’s almost like you’re still here.


You’d think the vice grip of grief would eventually loosen, would eventually fall away like the links of a chain and usher in the sweet relief of healing, and this is partially true; but the flashes of memory that strike my hippocampus like lightning and render me mute in the moment never do lessen, because you never do avoid the searing blade of recollection; you never do forget.


Your requiem is on my playlist, and sometimes, I have to skip to the next track.


You’d think a cigarette wouldn’t find me fighting tears after two glasses of wine with a heart full of regret that I never called you back that night whenever I hear a melody that reminds me of the psychotropic-fueled shenanigans of our early-twenties, but it usually does. Then the tears usually win that fight.


Your requiem is on my playlist, and sometimes, I can actually sing along.


You’d think I’d obsess about your last moments in this galaxy – the echoing emptiness of your lonely apartment; the stench of alcohol; the darkness of your depression, still looming like a Sword of Damocles; even the bewildered panic of your fucking dog as you lay there silently and failed to respond – and, yes, you’d be right about that.


Your requiem is on my playlist, and sometimes, I just replay it over and over again.


You’d think I would use your death as a misguided source of empowerment, a promise to seize each day to the fullest because of all the days you will miss, my life as your legacy because you’re no longer alive to live a legacy of your own; but the truth is, I’m still mired in the mental illness over which we will no longer bond, the chaotic noise that fueled the psychotropic-fueled shenanigans of our early-twenties, the life sentence to which you eventually succumbed.


Your requiem is on my playlist, and sometimes, I think you’d hate that.


You’d think I’d get a new best friend, but – as I think back to young adulthood, to college, to high school, to my thirties, to my twenties, to my teens with you always by my side; as I recall Anais Nin and Piet Mondrian and scenes from the campy horror movies which we first discovered together, sense memories which immediately teleport me back to your basement and your dorm room and your beat-up car; as I imagine how we could have been best friends in our eighties, quirky and cranky, still joined at the hip, a lifetime of communal experiences and shared delight in the rearview mirror behind us – well, I’m not even sure I want one at all. 


‘At Your Funeral’ by Saves the Day is such a pretentious title…no one should be using the word ‘requiem’ after the 17th century. – Lindsey M., Oct. 1983 – Aug. 2021

Shannon Frost Greenstein (she/her) resides in Philadelphia with her children and soulmate. She is the author of “These Are a Few of My Least Favorite Things”, a full-length book of poetry available from Really Serious Literature, and “Pray for Us Sinners,” a short story collection with Alien Buddha Press. Shannon is a former Ph.D. candidate in Continental Philosophy and a multi-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has appeared in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Pithead Chapel, Bending Genres, and elsewhere. Follow Shannon at or on Twitter at @ShannonFrostGre.

Shannon Frost Greenstein

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