If He had Lived

Between the years that answer,

the nights ask impossible questions

make us stumble, stripped bare

and so sorry.


I protest the passing with plans:  

a green house with black walls

tiny boots by the front door

quiet moments of commiseration

that make up for months

of nothing. 


But this night is a nosy intruder.

Tactless and too loud, demanding decisions

reminding us only of mortality:

Your father’s skin yellows like a lingered bruise.

A bulging bag of piss and blood

at blueing feet,

makes shame heavier than pain for now.


They twist the knife by trying. In pastels,

peak the poison until

driftwood arms and eyes empty,

he’s absurd and unfamiliar.

You wait for solace.

“Something over something”

“something point nothing,”

but it blurs without softening—

a pillow you can’t touch

a blanket for a bloodless man.


I tell you years will make this strangely matter,

the way white scars become our favorite stories

the ones we share on first nights,

sleepless and certain

of everything.


I say won’t it be nice to take him to a game,

buy his first beer,

lay out in the yard,

watch him wiggle white lines like lips and giggle

that low, lulling noise.

I try.


But tonight is too loud.

Tonight is a mockery, grinning,

microphoning moans

low and lulling and leading to nothing.


Blue eyes,

bloodshot, bleary, ballooned

like the yellow mylar smile tied tight to the tube,

you knew.

A useless angel


above the wires,


(I say goodbye to all of you.)

–Kristina M Sarhadi

Kristina  is the editorial director of Blak Licorice. Her work has appeared in literary journals throughout the US and UK. She holds a BA from Vassar College, an MSW from USC, and several other acronyms.

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