/ Vyxz Vasquez (Writer), Kristy Lee (Illustrator)

Poetry1 min reading time

No. 4

He never lived old enough for me
to have my own room, in danger of getting
caught by a cousin who forgot to bring her keys
or the landlord back from the market—

never had just a room with sunlit sheets,
naked under the covers, a languid display
of taut skin, fingertips hovering, learning
how our bodies worked, his eyes

fleeing borders of life, as if those exact
tentative careful touches before we stretched,
our feet cold that our lips stayed locked,
have remained in the semi-darkness

of this living room, sixteen years after
the fact of his death, always in danger
of being caught in soft tangle of memory
and grief-relief, as clear as his breath

on my neck, no one coming back, stuck
in the cushions of a sofa I make, believe
is his embrace.

A girl is sketched laying asleep on a couch. Faint light shines through the blinds onto her, and watercolor paint in shades of black and grey fill the sketch.