In Memoriam | Teen Ink

In Memoriam

December 6, 2015
By ClaireM. ELITE, Albany, New York
ClaireM. ELITE, Albany, New York
109 articles 14 photos 33 comments

We stand at a funeral, hand in hand,
under a sky bleeding glorious light.

The year is dying but we are
here to remember. To celebrate and to cherish.
To laugh and sob, reverently, as one.

We stand circular around a cavernous well,
and in this well, we place bouquets of memories.

There is a door rattling off its hinges. Daffodils picked in a hurry.
A boy, a girl, and two hands finding each other
in the darkness of
a cheap movie theater.
There’s a dying woman telling her sister to
read her favorite book to her one last time
g****** it. Two boys shucking off
clothes and leaping into the ocean, shouting
and gasping as the frigid waves lick
their bug-bitten calves. A gun held
to someone’s temple,
ruthless. Desperate mouths
meeting in a train station. An I Love You
written on
torn notebook paper and passed
across the aisle. An endlessness of
January snow.
There are fists on jaws
and pennies dropped into fountains
and meals that taste of loss.
Little girls
standing hopefully
in front of their mirrors, looking for
evidence of approaching
womanhood. Hangovers and weddings.
The stunned pause
after a kiss. Old men in
baseball caps joking at diners.
A boy stepping numbly into the
path of a freight train. Things said
at three in the morning and regretted
long after. Snapped pencil lead.
A scraped elbow. Soup on a
misty night. Want.
This is what we have left.

When the earth turns, as it always does,
this will be the past.
When the earth turns, it will carry us
into a new year
and we will burn, hats in hand,
for what was.
But when the earth turns, all will be fresh and flagrant,
naked and breath catching.
All will be ours.

We stand together between death and dawn. We wait.

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