Published on August 22nd, 2022 | by Sarah Ray


You Nearly Took Me With You

For Lily

Dear Lily, I never did smell your head,
         as I did the soft blond locks of your brother’s and soon
the auburn strands of your sister’s crown.
In your death, you nearly took me with you, Lily.
You wrapped my body in ropes of unrequited hope. 
         You choked out a life I loved.
You left me lying there, lifeless for days,
          a stranger wiping my ass and petting my hair while
I borrowed lakes of blood from good Samaritans. 
You selfish soul, you lifeless being no bigger than a doorknob– 
        now rest in that urn on my desk.
I used to carry you in that tiny urn 
        between my breasts, 
        nestled under the necklace a woman told me to buy 
because it would represent how much 
        I love you. 

You foolish soul. I carried you in my womb 
       but ended up begging 
       blood from strangers
to save my life from your unformed hands.
       just to survive the idea of you. 
While the blood was trying to save me; you were trying to drown me in it.
All warm and nestled there between my breasts– breasts that tried

    (those idiot cows)

to feed your urn. 

(photo on the left from the author’s collection; photo on the right by by Marcelo Leal on Unsplash)

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About the Author

Sarah is a poetry MFA student at Saint Mary’s College of California where she works at the Center for Environmental Literacy which houses the River of Words youth art and poetry contest where she is a judge. Sarah has been a writing coach and a teacher for ten years and enjoys writing ecopoetry, and inspiring young writers to express themselves through poetic expression. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two kids.

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