By: Caroline Stickney

and then maybe i can stop breathing in counts of fours,
as the matter in black holes is reduced to nothing but fragments of time, and
impossibly cold remnants of stellar light implode like spiders in the sky.
how is light reduced to remnants?
is it anything like that feeble memory where you reached out for me and i froze?
anything like our eyes reflecting the same suns in the mirror?
imagine, please, a better continuum.
when you told me that it’s my fault,
you were right,
not because the bruises bloomed like they’d asked for it,
or because i’d brought up the vomit from my throat myself,
but because i stayed in that darkness like a white dwarf stuck fast to the cold,
like i’d never seen a seam splitting the stars, or i’d never buried myself deep in the water grinning as my nails peeled off one by one,
because i had forgotten that the sun was ever guaranteed,
and there was no warning that the universe would ever
blink as surely as you did, tipping off your stool,
choking on light.