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Jan 2015
When I stand in the bathroom with these girls it is 4am and I see them as ghosts and my stomach is churning with too much salt (too many fritos), churning like the fields from back home that carry more wind than they can burden. My head feels like too much heavy space and all I can think about is a bathroom stall with a toilet bowl like a burial ground.

Lately it’s been getting haircuts and eating too much in a desperate attempt to keep the boys away, then food becoming the graveyard in a desperate attempt to draw them back. But my body still smells of ***** and my hands are still teethed and I wonder how many people know what I’ve done. I wonder how many people I can get away with telling.

Later when I sleep there are dreams of a mother dying with flies and the girl from camp hanging herself and the boy from down the street only 21 and dying in his sleep (and missing the memorial service). Every January it’s tallying up the deaths and every January it’s my brother asking me how many people will have to die in my poems before I’ll finally be able to make up my mind.

I can’t stop seeing blue faces against white lakes; a father who yells and then asks what’s wrong; a mother who takes baths with her daughter just to compare the way in which their bodies wrinkle like water.

Somewhere hanging up is a picture of us taken by some boy, in it we are singing songs to graves about breaking bones and bruising nail beds and now we wonder why we no longer speak to each other.
loisa fenichell
Written by
loisa fenichell  ny
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