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Gabrielle Faith Williams

The One

You cannot have a crush on something that is dead. Buffy pretends she doesn’t want a lot of things. I guess much hasn’t changed since 2000. We both have sisters who aren’t real, also terrible hairstyles for both men & women. I spent most of puberty cutting my hair then crying about it. Sunnydale is like any small town where we grow up bullied & bruised. Now everyone on the train is dead. They’re all sleeping the sleep. I used magic to bring my mom back from the dead. I missed her so much. I used one dead fingernail.

Tiny Star

We found our dog
belly up in the bathtub
Everyone’s pets were dying
so we had tiny pet funerals
with tiny pet eulogies
piling dirt upon dirt
in someone’s backyard

Little parts ripened & fell away
The sun left us & we turned into stone

The next day is taken for granted
The beach grew tired of us
& turned into concrete
our dry & sunburnt bodies
pressed between the plastic of the recliner

We didn’t have anything in common
so we talked about the importance of
a toothbrush, the closed doors
& dying swan
We bet one we left & loved
against one that didn’t materialize

We call this day its name
We do not name each other
We check behind every window
& every light

This is a house where we escape
at the top of a stone tower
leave holes in the fish tank &
hiccup over the ruined parts

The lights here can be seen from space
Sometimes they shine over the mountain
But more commonly, no one notices

& the buffalo are still alive here
travelling down the rails
but your absence is a lance
the separation, an area
I remove from myself—
the half of your head & heavy hand

The space between us
becomes an outskirt I cannot reach
We try transcending
to wilderness, then eclipse

I heard a story about your shoulders slouching forward
from the dead wishes I’ve sent you
What flower gets sent to the funeral?
Is it cruel not to cry
when you’re held above my head like a sacrifice?

Gabrielle Faith Williams
is currently attending The University of Nevada, Las Vegas for her MFA in Creative Writing and received a BA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago. She is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. She has also been nominated for Sundress Press Best of the Net Anthology. Her work has appeared in Amazon’s Day OneLEVELERWhiskey IslandFairy Tale Review, Ghost OceanKind of a Hurricane Press, and Columbia Poetry Review.