step #2

Mia DiFelice

i know your story. i know your lampshade gossip,
your dead star musings, the sound your throat made

when you swallowed water, the sound of your cough after

choking back wine. you are

 

dead because we stopped saying your name. you are
dead because we scrubbed the floors last night,
because we bleached the counters and dusted the shelves.

 

i forget what you smelled like — your perfume, your

pheromones guzzled by my hungry, gaping step #2.

 

do you remember us gasping for breath on the lakeshore

when we both almost drowned? do you remember our

steadfast starship, the prow we pulled through galaxies

tinged delicate and holy?

 

broke your headboard against writhing, forgetting our

hymns, our black hole homes. crumpled them in small

fists and pounded on kick drums to drown out flare-ups.

you died on a night like this one, and

 

i know your story. fed it to hacking lungs and shaking

hands, pulled it off shelf and presented it, consumable,

consummated with a splash of holy water on your

gravestone. whispered words of your glory days gloria,

your somnambulist song, and i — i haven’t

                                                                said your name since.