By Marianna White
I have loved things
Like the edges of butterfly knives
Nights when there were no stars
And this body
When it cared enough to rise.
So after the sirens have stopped
And the dust settled
I want you to remember this
Not that I was a sad girl
That my hands were dirty
And my sleeves torn.
Not that I was searching.
Remember how I have been to your sun and moon.
Many times. Worn a walkway back and forth
And found neither to be worth my coins.
Don’t think of the view from my knees
Or my hands curled around eggs.
Let’s not pretend I was just waiting for
The next good rain to come.
The right pill to change this.
My head is a swarm.
They tell me serotonin this
And dopamine that.
But I like strawberries
And surely that is the most of me.
I shot down the moon
To replace it with a
Worn cherry pit
And that’s when I knew
It was time to go
Remember I was a child too
Once. Anxious, raw tongued
Scared as a sin but
A child still
And these wrists
Are the house I grew up in.
Know this is not committing arson,
This is me letting the light in.
I am grateful for the homes given to me
Places where I learned to play hopscotch and spit
Empty as they may be.
I am chasing morning through
A pitcher of gin.
And I do not need you to hold me.
That is the ground’s job
And it does it well
Will feel my weight
Long after it’s slipped from your shoulders
So when this letter reaches
You. The lilies
Cut for my mud funeral.
When they dig a hole 10 feet from any church.
I want you to remember just this;
It hasn’t been strawberry season
Here for very a long time.
Marianna White is a college freshman at Penn who hails from Seattle. She misses it a lot. Besides poetry, she loves reading, running, and her dog.