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©2018 Barren Magazine. An Alt.Lit Introspective.

I Was Hovering Just Below the Hospital Ceiling, Contemplating My Death

by Alexis Rhone Fancher

When I glanced down and saw my body,
the suffering, damaged girl.

My beloved, nowhere to be found
had died on impact.

Now the ER doctors say I can go either way.

So I hover on the Sistine ceiling of the
I.C.U., undecided, my dead lover’s
hand reaching for me
like God stretched for Adam.

The tubes and machines that keep me
earthbound give way.

We soar above the hospital morgue,
backtrack the highway, our bodies
unbroken, the crash spliced out.

My mother keens beside my hospital bed,
her fingers tangled in my blood-soaked hair,
picking at pieces of windshield.
Holding tight.

Years later I re-trace the road
between death and Santa Barbara,
how he cradled my head in his lap as he drove.

How he didn’t want to go with me.
How I always got what I wanted.

All my life, such a greedy girl.

First published in Glass, 2017

Header photograph © Jason D. Ramsey.

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