create | encounter

winning submissions & honorable mention pieces

Honorable Mention: In Living Color

October 13, 2018

When my eyes are closed

I see a laughing child in a field.

Flowers in her hands.

Her smile wide as summer.

She would have been born in June, they said.

She was so small.

Her body could have fit

in the palm of my hand.

I could not read my future.

It gaped like an open maw, eager to swallow me whole.

I sent the pill like a guided missile to my womb.

My body became a place of execution.

I was the blood-soaked earth, a battlefield

where the living dragged away the corpses of the dead.

I was a poisoned flower

blooming beneath a red and swollen sun.

Afterwards, I gathered up the pieces of myself,

glued them back together, until I seemed intact.

But the cracks became fault lines.

My life rocked on its foundations.

My child still lives

in my mind, not where she belonged.

In the gaps between

what I say and cannot say.

I do not know, I have not learned

how to forget.

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@2017 by Aimee Murphy and Encounter Youniverse project collaborators.