content warnings: abuse, suicidal ideation, mentions of death
will it be floral couch cushions under my fingers or will it be rug burned knees, death. i wonder if death will be playdough pizza and computer games. if it will be mood swings and starvation and crying. so much crying. i wonder if it’ll taste like christmas cookies or sprite on upset stomachs and tummy aches when i laid in my surgery and you sat beside me, bloodied. i wonder if death will be like that.
i wonder if death will smell like seattle. i wonder if death will be getting lost on the road, unlearning how to navigate back. i wonder if it will be bare feet on kitchen tile
scrambling back as you reach for my neck. will it sound like you crying? or will it just be my nails scratching skin raw around my throat? will it be the dreams of my teachers finding out. will it be the sound that your happy pills make, a bottle rattler? will death be as cold as my hands, anemic?
or will death be as hot as my iron red ear, the burn under my skin when i spin tales and apologize in lies so that you don’t yell at me. i wish it was linzer cookies, the ones we bought in germany and shared on powdered sugar tongues. i wish it sounded like madonna. like a little prayer, no end and no beginning. i wish you’d ask me what i want for dinner. i want to know how you provide for me. i hope death isn’t a mental hospital i can’t afford and a job i lose and
i don’t want it to be fear every time the phone rings. i want death to smell like my hands after i’ve peeled oranges for you. i want it to taste like spaghetti. like food you never taught me how to make as well as you. because i want death to feel like the good parts of us. i want death to feel like the distance between us. i want death to put us as far away from each other as possible.
i want you to grieve me. because i’ve been grieving our relationship ever since i’ve seen what sadness looks like from the mirror.
i wonder if i’ll be enough in death. they say you remember the good times more than you remember the bad. that in death you conflate the image
of the icon. you see their good pieces, the broken ones. and you don’t think of the glass shards because what use is it to sweep up their flaws once they’re buried? so i hope in death i’ll be the perfect daughter you asked for. on the nights when you folded laundry and clutched at your stomach, wondering if it would ever grow.
Taylor Moore (she/her) in Orlando, Florida still loves her Louisiana hometown, much to the dismay of the less-than-queer population. She processes the survival racism her Korean immigrant mother instilled in her via League of Legends and writing Korean girls kissing. Taylor has been published in Veritas and Discretionary Love.