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All That We've Lost, Melody Wang

CW: loss, death, suicide

Late afternoon and the world slept on,

cocooned in shale-green coolness.

A tremulous breath preceded your last

fire-walk on this side of existence

In the courtyard, the putrid air sweetened. Unforgiving

smoke morphed into an endless maze, choked

your fellow students in their frenzied diaspora —

a gasp of starved koi, mouths agape in horror

As if in the eye of the hurricane, you threw

a final scornful smile to the ones left behind,

then fixated your eyes on the world to come,

knowing you did not belong to either

Decades later, I would walk through the eucalyptus

grove to find your plaque, our shared birthday

a glaring reminder that although you were born long

before me, I’m now older than you will ever be

We are the foolhardy children of April

clinging to a forgotten dream, faces upturned

to deeply inhale the scent of the coming storm,

our flushed bodies eager to be baptized again

At times, I sense you returning to this place

when the night air is cool and sweet, your chilled breath

upon my shoulder as we pace this sylvan purgatory

hand in hand to seek all that we've lost


Melody Wang currently resides in sunny Southern California with her dear husband. In her free time, she dabbles in piano composition and also enjoys hiking, baking, and playing with her dogs. She is a reader for Sledgehammer Lit and can be found on Twitter @MelodyOfMusings.

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