And Suddenly, I Existed In A World Where She Did Not by Shelby Khatami
She was strawberries, little half-crowns of half-eaten heads,
pink and furred, crowned in green.
She was roses, wild tangles of thorns that
blackberries could only dream of,
pinked petals facing skyward.
She was smooth-shelled snails,
creatures emerging after the rain,
she crawled with them in the wet-smelling Earth.
She was rusty revolvers and loose bullets,
carried separately, halved-open and placed on the tongue.
She was redwood trees,
planted roots and towering heights,
burnt-out hollows from self-lit fires
She was locked doors and sediment-layered eyes,
half-moon smiles only half-tangible,
gaze hard and sharp and painfully tender.
She was round-bodied laughter,
wide and vast as broad leaves,
giving sunlight rather than receiving.
She was wet clothes, hosed-off-vomit,
lake-shit-water, ocean-salt-water, piled in corners.
She was the language of stars,
they danced for her, coalescing-crashing
into a tile-bathroom floor,
stilling in the marrow of her cracked sternum,
star-tears welling with the bloody cut on her head.
They looked on from the skies as she stopped breathing in the ambulance.