On a bench by Strawberry fields
Till the sky is kissed by violet
Her name is probably Ruth;
Ruth with a mouth like a desert
Ruth with blacked out gums
Throat thick sick smoke
Lungs heaving gasping for air
I stare, and remain staring
With right reason, though
Look at her, look at her
She deserves all the seething stares I stand to give
She makes love to a pack of Newports
Dragging till she feels light again
Suckling till she feels young
Again she purses her lips twisted
For fleeting moments she floats like the
Whispers of smoke that slip
From her fingertips
Like them she evaporates.
Look at her. She is crazy. Watch her crumble
Her hopes into a crumbed Wonderbread mush
Offering it to feed the cock-eyed
Head-bobbed feathery masses;
So they will stay
Keep her company
Skirt frantic near her ankles
For a while
For a while
I will watch, reprimand her with
Glowingly green eyes locked in my skull
She is far too bright
For me To look away
I was already sick when I saw the toy girl puttering in the sand
Watching waves crash
Crying because she hated to see
The beach be swallowed.
So I scooped her up
Dried her tears, eased her fears
As she crooned in my palm.
We sat silent, speaking words
But truly saying nothing
Then, she burst, surely by accident,
‘Help me I surely wish to die’
To which I replied I wish you wished to fly
Because I know you can. Or can at least try.
See, you have wings, bright beautiful fluorescent wings
They will fill you when you are empty
They will lift you when your feet are cemented to the ground
But she just nodded away and spat miseries in my direction
How she was never happy
How she was sure she was sick from within
(The doctor had said so)
And how she felt hollow melon balled.
Black streaks ran rivers down
Her (suddenly) pudgy cheeks
Forming a delta at the base of her
Chin, drops dripping to her forearms
Falling into place with
Similar raised red rivers.
And I understood. And I cried.
Tears escaped me and laid a thick wet coat
Flooding my palm.
But how was I to know she would not float?
She finally got her wish as
Her cowards smiled face
Dipped under the pools of salty tears
Closed and serene
Twisted my wrist
Heard the breaking of little bones by my fist
Then dropped my head, closed my eyes, and
Fell back into bliss.
Andrés Vaamonde, Age 17, Grade 11, The Fieldston School High School, Silver Key