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©2018 Barren Magazine. An Alt.Lit Introspective.

Remember That You Are Dust


by Cyndie Randall

I crawl

into your photograph, inch open the cupboard behind

your shoulder, pull out a chipped glass kept

for summer root beer. I hate your diet kind. Tastes

like how plastic smells, but I drink it anyway. Why

 

won’t you try the real thing? I grab my belly to signify

my poisoning, then I make our bed. I close your empty

pizza-binge box, stack the manic lyrics on the keyboard,

feel you posing your hollow smile. Since you’re so musical,

 

I ad-lib a song about dancing ‘round your vomit as it

bubbles up from the bathtub drain. Neither one of us

is sexy in that scenario, which is what Chicago

in your twenties should be, if anything.

I hold us

between thumb and middle finger, kneel curbside,

catch my bitter breath. Tiny pools of sweat break out

across my forehead to gather and branch with

 

the bishop’s ash cross. A drop slips my brow, plummets

toward the picture like a rogue flock bird, and

slaps you in the face.

Header photograph © Jason D. Ramsey.

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