Audio: Read by the author.
There was a girl in my high school always smiling
and the other day, in a bathtub, she shot herself.
Her mother was downstairs with her two little kids
whose universe will begin with that bang.
Somehow there’s still air in the lungs of earth
to blow through the reeds, and random sparrows
are still flying, the scarred eternal intellect
threading the spider that threads its orb web
to catch, immobilize, guzzle the juices. Yesterday
black vultures in my neighborhood quarreled
over rubbery pink remains of a squirrel run over
on a street where the kids play. The Manicheans
were onto something, separating the good god
from all of this, but you’re so stubborn, you
insist on hanging dead in the web and being
there, in the tub, not pulling the trigger maybe,
but kissing the wrinkled finger as it pulled.
Bryce A. Taylor writes from Spring, Texas. His poetry and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in America, Acumen, Literary Orphans, Lydwine Journal, Dappled Things, and Strange Horizons. His short story “A Girl I Really Knew” appeared in Image issue 80.