MY GRANDMOTHER TELLS ME EVERYONE AROUND HER IS DYING


and that no one believes her. most days she keeps her heart
hoping someone might accidentally bump into it when reaching for 
a knife. I wonder how long she has lived this way, like love, like
before dinner she sang a silent prayer to herself that was  four beats long, 
a sister, and a brother, and a cousin, and an uncle.      
sad poems     
happening
just because you iron out the wrinkles
it’s worn
I’m tired 
too. but then she smiles and calls me
pats the kitchen counter like she’s searching
my grandmother tells me everyone around her is dying
I believe it. I see it

on the kitchen counter

the salt, or the pepper, or a fork, or 

something that exists only because we tell it to.

I do not need to hear it to understand. 

my grandmother tells me to stop writing

because isn’t there so much good

in my life? tells me

it doesn’t make it new again. once

it’s worn. and I wish I could tell her 

of regurgitating my trauma

by the wrong name and

for something.

and I wish I could tell her

with my own eyes. 

Mikayla is a rising Junior at Kenyon College majoring in English and Music. She edits for Sunset Press' poetry publications, as well as reads submissions for the Kenyon Review. She also really loves college radio.

Composition by Daniel Liu.