The words condensed the air,
perspirating tragedy through the
pores of the speaker of the plastic tool.
The voice on the other end
hung lower,
hung vulnerable,
hung fragile.
Days after passed
slower than seashells could form,
and we were untied for once, but in

That stifling summer afternoon,
oh that afternoon.
After the organized
gunshots went off,
after the man nobody
knew arrived late,
after I peered through the
jet black lenses glued to the cheap frames on
every person sharing my last name.

I remembered the day
I sat on your bedside and you told me,
“You are the light of my life.”
But I never got around to give you
a satisfying response; I was too busy
glancing at the clock,
waiting for the moment to pass us by.

That phrase was automatically profound,
too much for my head,
too easy to ignore,
too easy to forget.
So it was only until I noticed my
Revlon Blackest Black,
and Covergirl Medium Beige
smudging on my dress I knew on your
bedside you were waiting, too.
I needed to whisper, "I'll always be there for you."

But that day the smooth polished tomb
kept my mouth shut, and now
I’m all too familiar with the silence.
I’m all too familiar with skipping the chorus.
I’m all too familiar with the indents on my

bottom lip.

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