by Sarah Terzo
Honorable Mention, Poetry, Create | Encounter 2019
The sky was blue, but it should have been black
The day we drove to the clinic.
People are walking, eating, shopping,
They don’t know that it’s the devil’s hour,
the heart of night on the last night of the world.
We pass the public pool.
I roll up my windows
so I don’t hear children’s voices.
I try not to wonder. Who would she be?
They made me put my phone away.
For privacy, so we can’t take pictures.
As if anyone would ever, ever want
to take a picture in this place.
So I won’t hear it.
The last-minute text filled with promises
Are you still there? Did they do it yet? Oh good.
I changed my mind. I want this baby.
It doesn’t matter. I know it won’t come, anyway.
The needle stings, the dark unfolds its wings
I flow like water, away, I never see the man with the knife.
But, that’s wrong, of course, they don’t use knives.
Suddenly, I’m curled up
knees to chest, hands to face, thumb to unformed lips
heart beating in an ancient rhythm
keeping time with the greater pounding,
as I drift in a formless sea.
Sometime later, in the real world
I’m being driven home
down roads newly paved, all roadblocks gone.
I’m fine - Except there’s no rain.
Rain should be falling.
from the empty sky.