Questions for the Departed

By: Lexi Newsom

Is how still the air is, standing
Is how grey the sky is, weeping
Is how red the fallen leaf is, dying
Is how green the grass is, living
Living, living, living
A breath in, a breath out
Taken for granted—granted, it’s
A subconscious process. But why is it
That after watching one’s subconscious fade
The automatic takes effort?
In their smiles, too wide, too full of too-white teeth
Bleach doesn’t lie, isn’t good, you can’t hide
Your bones by soaking them in it
no, no, no—please
i said no bones and you,
you promised me
promised me
when we cut our skin
to the white calcium beneath
engraved our initials in
the smooth surface
waited for the skin to entomb
them once again, saying
as long as the bones remained
within ourselves, we would
always know where the other was
our own private witchcraft
our own private witchcraft now strewn across the street, and
i can see your bones, my initials, out in the open air, and
it pains me it pains me its pains me—but not so much as
knowing that i do not know where you are anymore.
you have left me, and left me with so many questions:
were you scared? did you know you would be gone?
an empty space where a body, a laugh, a smile should be?
why did you go? that last one: why why why?
please tell me:
where are you?