Her obituary picture will look nothing like her

by Alex Stolis
Wild Poetry Forum
Honorable Mention, May 2009
Judged by Duncan Mercredi

the children will say it’s because she likes to talk
about hearts, their shape and texture, how they are
simple but never quite within reach. Her hands
are unsettling, she is aware of her mouth, aware
that everyone expects sadness and when the clock
strikes the hour it brings with it the sound of a train,
the feeling of dust and the sweet taste of his sweat.
She was eighteen, refused to be contained, he knew
how even a thin veneer of pride could shatter a man
in two; being lost together didn’t feel out of place.
Sometimes, when he was sound asleep she would
watch him breathe, imagine they were on an ocean
liner traveling to Europe, illicit lovers running away
from long-established conventions, breaking their
own rules because they could. There were gravel
roads and cotton dresses, long-neck beers and no
need for second chances and on clear summer days
she swore she could see all the time in the world
glisten in the corner of his eye.