Smoke rolls in reverse back under the hood, the windshield un-shatters, glass pulling around the branch as it exits the car.
October, 2001 by Maranda Greenwood
1. In Reverse
Smoke rolls in reverse back under the hood
the windshield un-shatters, glass pulling around
the branch as it exits the car.
Your forehead retracts, from the center console
base of your skull reattaching, vertebrae C1-C4
clicking back into a straight line.
Lap belt burn erased.
Spinal fluid traveling past the ear drum
to where it belongs.
I am the Egg Man, I am the Walrus—
car drifting up Orchard Road.
Back into town—
you climb out of the back seat
go back up the walk,
pull the phone off the receiver,
complain about sitting bitch.
I say goodbye—unpack your costume,
red pants—white socks, red jacket—
you’ll be Michael Jackson
I’ll be a zombie, we’ll wait
for the DJ to spin Thriller—
you tell me you’ll meet me there—
I wait for you to call.
2. Fast Forward
Deep purple bruise
centered between brows,
no more jokes
they roll you into the bright light and
drain that pocket of bulging spinal fluid
at the twisted base of your skull.
Makeup can’t cover the shade
you’ve turned, but the wax putty blade
covers the gore of that neck gash.
They dress you how you would never,
drop you in that casket, your mouth
will not stay completely closed and this
ends up in my dreams.
They wrap your hands
around the drumsticks that taught me
Misery by Green Day 14 days earlier,
they place your skateboard vertical
on your chest, grip tape down,
arms folded over your chest,
yes, this is a pose like a drumstick-holding-
cross-armed-vampire guarding a skateboard,
I hate this.
I am handed a flower and run down the aisle
to your mouth-cracked-purple-shade-wax-skull
and I reach for you. I touch your face in front
of everyone and you are ice
and this ends up in my dreams.
I drop the flower and sprint from you,
I am 15 we are 15
and this feels like a dream.
H, you flew down October Road so fast
I just have to know, wake up and tell me
if you heard it whisper—
You’ll be buried here.
Maranda Greenwood is a Vermont poet. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Arcadia University. Her work can be found in Rising Phoenix review, Eunoia Review, Crab Fat Magazine and other journals. In her free time, she coaches field hockey and softball and collects Zoltar tickets.
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