Low

We called her Low
because she wasn’t too tall
and she was always depressed

She had an inevitable low

She shot herself on Sunday,
another station of the cross
Her casket was a head shy

She had an erratic ebb
We watched for fatalistic hieroglyphs —
must have been disappearing ink

I’d say, Low, let’s go dancing
and at first she’d say yes,
then she’d say no

Now I can’t look at her photos
and Ric can’t remember any of her clothes
But echoes of her laughter rain down from wherever

I shake them off

Because she won’t laugh,
exchange carbon & oxygen
with leaves from damp forest floors, Pablo,

— now she becomes them

And we walk right down the middle of the street
to avoid them,
the fallen leaves

Mary Kay Stam

 

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