i couldn’t let go. who dies from
breathing this air? who dies from air?
i could’ve did it with a pillow-
case. not sure if this is love
anymore but he was always there. still
i can’t bear this half of me
gone—his body a museum i hoard.
you lost your way into a song
no one will sing. i will hold
a vigil for your absence. you left
wings that won’t fit onto my back.
the day ends with a black rainbow—
a sure sign that prayers should be
said. you mistook me for a shaman.
you’re not shelter. this place isn’t home.
kill me. wash my corpse with your
tears, mine ache. i don’t know how
to be sorry. keep death. bury me.
your body is a garden. reap my
soul into a finer ghost. hate me.
soon your heart will be riming with joy.
throw me to pieces like nothing, abandon
me. force me into an image of
ruin. i want to be impaled through
the eyes—my dreams are their own
bodies going dying too. what comes? i
have this ache working me into silence.
avant que l’ombre, i’ll (for)give unto you.
no angels appear, no dayglow, no ascent,
no zephyrs, no puffy clouds, no grazia,
no cosmos, no waiting gods, no armies,
no way to come back, no treaty
to be ghost, no ram’s horn, no
hooded reaper, no crystal dust, no welcome,
no waking to this world, no fermata,
no hearts thrum, no lungs take breath,
no eyes recur nothing, no sternum to
arch, no ribs to prison slaves, no
veins to be rivers, no blood to
wash away love, no tears for mercy,
no bones for shamans, no morning vespers,
no body offering, no pyres, no ashes,
no gilded heaven, no forever, no worship,
no false prophet, no go down moses,
no burials, no orchids, no tulips, no
lilies, no doves, no mothers, no comfort
no beauty, no more beauty, nothing, just
you and me and every one else
and no detour to a holy night.
i’m done. i’m all mirage and haze
curling into ritual, a flit as shadow
waning within wondrous rapture without worry. you’re
not found. i pass thorny wreaths. we
crown our spirits in hopes of ruin—
you’re unnamed name a galaxy i thirst.
J'Sun Howard is a writer and dance artist whose literary work can be seen in the following journals: Chicago IRL, Inkwell, Danspace's Constellations and Influences, Garland Court Review, Storyglossia, and 3rd Language.