by Paula Ethans
I’m sorry I didn’t call, I
didn’t want to. I picked up all the flames
from the yard and watered each one
with my tears. If healing is hard work,
call me a hero.
I sent a body bag
to my trauma last week. I don’t feel light,
I feel the power of a thousand yiayias
behind me. An army of ancestors raging against
what has always been.
feels like laughter at a funeral. As cruel as
a fish drowning. A punch to the gut that leaves
your granddaughter gasping. It’s a paradigm of
But maybe permanence is a
woman named Priyanka. With eyes
that can melt this winter. Maybe we can grow
mangoes together. Watch them
blossom. Feel ourselves root. Let it wash over us
like laughter at a funeral.
When I die,
I hope you laugh at my funeral.
Paula Ethans is a writer, poet, organizer, and human rights lawyer from Canada. Her poems are published or forthcoming in Rogue Agent, Ethel Zine, The Quarantine Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, nymphs publications, Bareknuckle Poet, and more. She most recently won the 2019 Trans Europe Expression Slam finals in Manchester, UK. You can follow her on Twitter @PaulaEthans.