Poem: "Hate the Living, Love the Dead"

7개월 전

“Hate the Living, Love the Dead”


She lies still, desolate in her bed
like a casket. Her arms cross
over her breasts. Hands
on shoulders, silver and gold rings
wrapped like bows around her fingers, thumbs

against her collarbone. I peak in through her window.
Her cheeks, pallid cheeks, once red
bleed into mine, coursing like a fever.
The fever of deceased. The funeral pyre
ignites within. The mourning

is for the morning, I yearn
for her blizzard kiss, her arctic
fingertips. I cloud the window
and pound the glass. The cadaver
whips off the sheets

rolls out to her feet—staring at me
like I’m the ghost. Her eyes squint
and her feet stagger back. “I’m still alive. Too bad,
I’m beautiful,” I think she says, but it’s difficult
to read lips. I didn’t know the cold rings

that I’d feel would enclose around my wrists
and the words she inaudibly screamed were,
“I’m calling the cops.” Months later, in a courtroom,
some woman in a pinstripe suit asks me questions
to which I respond with shrugs. This woman mentions

some girl’s name in the same sentence
with the word plaintiff. I reply, “Who?”
Weeks later, in a cell, I hold a needle dripping black
staining my murder-blue jumpsuit. The yells and shrieks
in the hall could paralyze the deaf. I’d complain, but I’m

breathing. The volume of their voices lowers with each puncture
against my forearm inscribing: Contemno Victus Diligo Silenti.
My cellmate peers at my arm and points. “The hell’s that
supposed to mean anyway?” I stab myself
deeper and mumble,


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