Hospice recommended we starve him. I did.
I can sleep all day. Things happen and my father dies.
I go to Italy, I fall apart under Tintoretto, those smudgy
crucifixions. In another life, I am promised to a lawyer.
I have a wedding chest heavy with linen.
When I wake in a small boat filling with ocean,
my father sews the white dress into my skin.
I am given medicine to help me sleep. People are hired
to stand around my bed and hold my wrists down while
I writhe. This isn’t what I imagined, but isn’t necessarily worse.
The wedding plate shatters. My once-beloved reads me my
Miranda rights. Owls keep crashing into the bedroom
window mid-day and I’m not allowed to touch them.
I’m made to kneel at a safe distance. My father always
makes me turn away while he snaps the owl’s neck.
He is saving it, I know this, from something worse.
But I have the right to see what happens to their yellow
eyes. Do they stay open? Does he stroke their wings to calm
them down until, in his hands, they go slack?
Anything I say can and will be used against me
in the middle of the night. Boat, I dream, fills with
talons. I have the right to use them how I want.

Elegy in Which I Refuse to Turn Away // Corey Van Landingham (via deeplystained)

The roads between our houses collapse, and we make bridges out of apologies trying to reach each other again. The news reporter talks about the abandoned house that burst into flames last week, and we mourn each ghost like we loved them once. Like we danced with them once and our bodies have been aching ever since. We just wanted the wars to stop. We just wanted forgiveness on Sunday. We just wanted words and the right voices saying them. We kept convincing ourselves that we waited too long in the wrong doorways, but the truth is, we would have waited longer and that’s why all of this still hurts.

Y.Z, answering machine (via rustyvoices)

I.

When you died on the street I knew I was dreaming. You asked me why and I said I didn’t know and you said you were sorry and I still don’t know what for. I said it’s fine. Your body jerked like something was leaving and I held you under the summer streetlight, listened to a quiet hum as time and the cicadas died.

When you died on the street the second time I knew I was dreaming and I promised you I would always be where you are. You died laughing, like the time we watched that movie with that one actor from that one show and you said you missed your mother and there was nothing I wanted more than to steal your mother’s corpse from the casket in the graveyard where she forgot to breathe. I can’t make things better. I thought it’s not supposed to be like this, I thought when did we get so small.

When you died on the street a third time I knew I was dreaming so I kissed you on the curb with your body in my lap. You did not kiss back. I kept thinking the universe is a glass of spilled milk. I closed my eyes and did not cry.

II.

It was morning and our hearts leaked around us when I told you the sheets needed to be washed. We did the laundry in a beautiful room with thin white walls and you made a sound like a dying animal and I thought, listen — I thought, this is why I’m not where you are.

Brianna Albers, “Why I’m Not Where You Are,” after Thomas Patrick Levy’s “Lost” (via overwhelmington)