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©2018 Barren Magazine. An Alt.Lit Introspective.

I Will Not Waste You


by Katelyn Delvaux

The pink of your thighs folding in is the conch
I hold to my mouth and the soft curve of your body
a bell to my ear. Sickness washes in like flood water,
foul and dejected. Your bones wilt in the afternoon sun
flung across the bed—it sprouts up through the quilt
tucked under your head, a crown for the dying.
And you wear your sadness like jewelry,
delicate chains of worry strung from your throat.
When that day comes, I will not waste you in the ground.
Your teeth will chatter—trinkets on my breasts, your eyes
plucked from the tide and dyed to match the sea
of magnets floating above to-do lists.
Your ribs will trickle from the ceiling,
a cage dancing beneath one-hundred watts.
Long bones make beautiful chairs that glisten
in the dining room and hum as they are pulled
from the table. And your hands will hold our rings
the way upturned stumps hold clay in their wicked roots
stretching up from the mouth of the river.
In the aftermath of gurneys and gauze, I will rebuild you.

Header photograph © Stephen Briseño.

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