by Allison Lowe
and he tells me that he is kissing me / because the bombs will reach us / any minute now. / now, even this motel roof / does nothing to protect me / from the rain / that renders my body / soggy and limp. / i imagine a couple / in the next room over / creating something clean / amidst the chaos / amidst the blaring / of air raid sirens: / dancing to jazz music / as dinner cools on the counter / feeding one another dessert / atop a plastic-wrapped couch. / they drink champagne / and sparkle / as i am laid down / on the linoleum floor / as i am left hollow / and used / as i stare / at the wallpaper / and lament / each inconsistency / in its pattern. / even when i close my eyes / i see nothing / but those half-finished flowers / running into each other / over and over again. / two hours ago / i saw a doe lying / glassy-eyed and road-scraped / on the side of the highway. / my mother used to say / she wished she could die / like a deer in headlights / that it is better to be suddenly taken / by a brightening light / than to starve / beneath a waning moon. / i am trying to stay still / trying to regulate my heartbeat / as the failed peace talk continues / to blare on the television. / it seems everyone else on earth / will receive that deathless death / that stagnant shock. / no one else will live to remember / the feeling of detonation / of earth and sky falling heavily / upon their body. / but for me, everything aches / and i can see the moon / small and waning / peaking through the window. / he picks me up / off the floor / and kisses me again.
Allison Lowe is from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been published in Gigantic Sequins, the Lumiere Review, and the Blue Marble Review, among others. She has been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and Princeton University.