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The Day You Died

Updated: Jun 13, 2019

The day you died I made a list to remember you by writing down all that made you, you

Bitter powdered cocoa smell stirred in with laced tobacco crescent-like half a smile loud, cackling, hyena laugh tall, lanky, binding hugs flushed hot chocolate skin the grooves of your glasses indenting your stubby nose purpled lips from years of smoking

The day you died I made a list to hold all that you were but tonight it feels too light

The teeth violently grind and I line the green crystals just like you taught me neatly in the paper’s fold licking the line rounding it into a tube lighting one end and exhaling the other holding the list foolishly thinking it can hold all of you

The day you died I scrambled to capture you shoving you on paper before you slipped away

The mint plays on my tongue and the smoke settles deep I think of bedtime stories with angels on our shoulders and godmothers all watching and late loved ones as stars away from this world and out of my reach – my palm crumples the list only to let it float right down

The day you died I thought of how I could keep you in this world with me when all you wanted to do was leave

But the last of the smoke pushes out with resistance I stub the end out on the list till the blank canvas in the dark glows eerily from the center with a scattering of embers kissing and igniting the paper and for a second I wonder if the sequins of stars above are the millions of cigarettes you stub through the sky every night just to keep us in your sight


“I’m your galaxy in this world, above and more – from the stars to this smoke.”


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