Seashell
for my brother

The day he died I heard you howl – a scream so hot and sharp
it pierced right through my skin, threading through muscle
to wrap itself tightly around my heart, a reminder that each beat
was a betrayal. I watched each of your heavy breaths rise up into a sky
we no longer understood and I told you there are no words for this pain,
that all the poets have tried. But that was lazy. A lie. There are words
that tear my throat raw, bring red waves of iron and salt to my tongue.
Listen: I didn’t realize till I was twenty that in order to find a seashell
in the sand, something living has to die. That doesn’t make it any easier.

 

 

About the Poet:
Kristen Zory King is a writer based in Washington DC. Some of her work can be found in The Trident, The Inn House Review, and Cactus Heart Press.

 

Photo by Cestina.

 

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