Before I Die Young
My parents were both cut in two,
my mother head to torso, laterally bisected
into equal parts, my father cut slightly off center
into unequal parts, his heart bisected, his head intact.
My parents were cut in two, as if
giant shards of sharp glass
were free falling in the universe.
She happened to be in the wrong place
at the wrong time, he standing next to her,
they were both cut in pieces.
When I look at this picture carefully,
I notice their only daughter so close
by her mother's side, pierced through
at an angel, my viscera partially exposed.
These are my addictions,
this my disorderly conduct,
here is my gore, mixed
with the coffee stains
on the cluttered table.
I go on living like this,
cut almost through,
remembering my parents,
her vacant eyes, his neck wrenched
sideways, wracked with pain,
how they died a thousand deaths
before they both died young.
This is the shard of glass that fell
out of the universe through me.
I go on living like this, hoping
someday I'll meet a surgeon
or discover a way to dissolve glass
before I die young, too.
Copyright © Barbara Cotter | Year Posted 2007
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