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Brevity This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.


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you will not die out
in an orchestral flash
like you should.

your shockwave will rustle a bronzed
liquor leaf, curled up,
fetal position.
waiting for death.

and it will spiral through winter
air, so crisp you could bite it – the type that
should've filled your lungs
the last time, fresh and bleeding
instead of canned and palliative –
and imprint itself on a car window.

and the boy in the carseat
will press his fingertips to the muggy
glass and breathe out futures to
trace the skinless veins.

and his mother will think them
idle sketches and rub away
keratin memorials with her sleeve,
grubby with lovedirt.
shopping bags leaving red marks
in her wrists. they will fade
over time.
joy accelerates everything.

and I will stitch into cushions
that laughter is medicine though
jokes boom with ragged edges too much
for clean-cut pills. see funerals
for the dead and think it strange.
see my own and think it less. leave
last gaps untouched because sometimes
endings mean more if they grate.

think of the man with his glassy-eyed oblivion.
the stars he tastes have long since died
but the light hasn't reached him yet.

obituaries and birthday cards will tangle
side-by-side in the gutters.

and life will (almost) go on
without you.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the December 2013 Teen Ink Poetry Contest.




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