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 

surrounding      them.

 

“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.