In memory of Clyde Jabari.
“He must have loved you, you know,”
the EMT remarks, her lips forcing
a tight smile to bloom.
Crushed bones on black leather, &
crimson blood thick on cool glass.
He couldn’t actually be gone, right?
I choke, grab at my throat, tightening
my grip until I almost faint.
“Was it your anniversary?”
We had promised each other happiness,
unconditional love, but never death.
We were only teenagers.
“Because there were rose petals & chocolates
surrounding his body.”
Killed after running errands to show his love,
red petals surrounded his too-cool skin.
Chocolates danced around
his car, salted caramels doing the salsa on
the dashboard unaware of the crime scene
“I picked up one of the flowers,
if you want it.”
I stare at the petals as red as the gore
clinging to the metal of his Buick & the
tractor trailer that tore his body to shreds.
Perhaps it’s better to hold onto something
tangible, delicate, & alive,
than to strangle your pride in your too-tight fists.
Kenneth Nolan III, who was the Poetry Editor for this issue, is a junior from Marietta, Pennsylvania. Majoring in Creative Writing, his hobbies include reading, writing, painting, and listening to Kate Bush while looking solemnly outside his window.