Calcium Ca, 20
She tells she me she doesn’t leave her room much anymore.
Is sleeping, cannot stay awake,
Cannot remember if she dreams.
I picture her hair, how she pushed it back
from her cheek, hair she no longer has.
Shut my eyes tight and I can see
the way the sun spilled on her floor, smell
autumn in her hair. Shut my mouth and I can taste
the milk of every word she’s swallowed
to protect me from this. She never told me
life could feel like drowning,
holding my breath, no shore in sight.
She never told me knowledge could feel
like shards of coral
buried carefully under skin.
She never told me sadness
could cement my heart,
each new sorrow thicker than the last.
All I know is that our bodies betray us.
And in the end, as we leave
are teeth and ash, love and bones.