“Papier-Mâché” by Hannah White

Here lie the days before the family
imploded. I take photos on my
phone to remember them in blurs.
When I try to zoom in I find our
history in pixels,
soft and grainy like the
pilaf that puréed into dust
on the stove for three days in the
aftermath of our spontaneous combustion.

The disaster could and maybe should be observed
mathematically,
with the detached gloss of a
magnifying glass hovering just above
the leaf it’s set on fire but
instead we wrap our wounds in plaster, the bile of our
lower intestines stuffed into
papier-mâché ponies
swinging in perfect accordance with the laws of physics
till that inevitable final blow.

But when the blindfolds come off,
I will take the baseball bat and stand
upon the rubble and demand something
no longer mutilated
into paper strips stiffened with the
clots of my blood and yours.
I’ll demand a high-definition reason for
this wasteland.
I’ll take
anything,
anything at all,
I will swallow willingly and even if I end up purging your
bullshit’s vile aftertaste after,
well, at least I’ll have filled
my empty stomach
for a little while.

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