The Shame that Comes with Asking a Dead Boy to Dance

Speak of the devil and he’ll play through the radio

or over the loud speaker at prom. When he left,

he placed rainclouds in the bags under my eyes

and thoughts of the Lake beneath my skull.

I thought about the polka dot swimsuit I wore

that matched my yellow sandcastle-bucket, and I thought about

that boy who wrapped himself in an aquamarine blanket

and dreamt about felicity.

They say drowning is a tranquil way to die

a simple resignation

like wandering naked and alone into the desert

to let the grains of sediment roll over your eyelids while you sleep.

I tried it once, my breasts hidden

under waves of auburn asinity crashing against my rib cage.

The bottoms of my feet were charred within minutes

and my legs gave out, leaving me stranded next to a cactus

and your eyes reflected in the sky. I hope that was a mirage.

Crawling through the scorching sand,

I tried to find some solace

in the distant illusion of a crescent moon,

hanging crooked like your smile.