She Smoked Ultra Light Cigarettes Through a Plastic Filter

Melissa Studdard

And her lungs were horses galloping through

My childhood fears:

Bloody Mary in the mirror three times,

The Headless Horseman laughing under the old Chinese Pistache,

Satan sneaking into an unlocked window of my heart.

The pulse of my regret is nicotine-brown.

The color: elongated shadows on white pants.

Theme song: the hidden ash of the sea.

Now, the doctor carries her diagnosis gently to us.

Offers it from the doorframe like a newborn

Needing swaddle & milk. We must

All take care of it now,

This forest of worry

Making the sun seem smaller.


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