I don’t know what it is about her that they think they’ll be able to bury, because she is still everything in me that is able to open, and remembering seven summers together I swear my heart is a cicada, shearing my lungs to lace, protesting the redundancy of daily dusk.
They want her to have an open casket, but even after all this I know completely there has never been a whole body. It was the creak of her voice that I cradled close to my clavicle, Latin root, “little key”; but no amount of turning in different directions allowed me to open up.
When I couldn’t sleep, her soliloquy left grass stains on the side of my face; she was made of gossamer and dragon-snaps, almost as small as the rain, and no, there has never been a whole body, but she told me stories, and they were my morning.
She sent me postcards of places we’d never partake in, sometimes even those advertising the next city over, always begging me not to leave her behind, that it wasn’t her fault she couldn’t fly, maybe the next surgery wouldn’t go so badly, and no matter how many times I just sighed and explained that two weeks is not forever, that I’d get her presents and send her e-mails, She’d slam the door to the screened-in porch and spend the rest of the afternoon shelling snaps. After a while I’d sit next to her, names I’d never heard tattooed to the gnashing of my teeth, and wait.
“We’re fine.” She’d say, but neither of us ever moved.
Two weeks after she died, I bought a plane ticket to Germany, accepting it open-palmed, as if it were a peace offering. I missed the flight by five minutes.
I did not ask for a refund.
Laura Ingram is a tiny teen with large glasses. Her work has been previously published in Gravel Magazine, Jet Fuel Review, The Cactus Heart Review, Life in 10 Minutes, Canvas Lit, Forrest for the Trees, Tallow Elder Quarterly, The Noisy Island, The Crucible, If and Only If, Assonance Lit, Juked Literary Journal, Allergo Poetry, and few others she’s always bound to forget. She is also a student writer for The Odyssey online. Laura enjoys most books and all cats.
Tiegan Dakin is a teenage writer, artist and blogger of English descent. Her work of many varieties appears or is forthcoming in Random Sample Review, After the Pause, Blue Bonnet Review and Gravel Literary Journal, among others. She works as Chief Editor of The Drowning Gull when she isn’t focussed on her studies. You can learn more about her here: https://harbourwave.wordpress.