This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Jordi Alonso, is from Night Swim by Joan Kwon Glass, released by Diode Editions in 2022.
Elegy for my Sister’s Journals
content warning for suicide
When the policeman handed me your journal in the evidence bag, I left it there unread, claiming some small victory in refusing your final words. And when the psychic at a party claimed to have a message for me from you, I shook my head and said no thank you. A year after your death I awoke to your fist, urgent, banging against my bedroom door. I could have opened it, could have given you the chance to unburden yourself. Maybe after I listened, you would finally have left me alone. The truth is, all of this this could just be my strange way of taking a stand: my sister is gone and no ghost can take her place. Can you see me, here writing this poem brooding in our childhood bedroom, stuffed animals smiling stupidly from the dresser? I’m staring unblinking at the scorched doors the way a child does when sulking. Keep your journal and your fist. Instead give me the bag in which you took your last breath, the film that lifted away from your cheeks, cheeks I once compared to winter apples. Give me the last thing you laid eyes on: vase of fake flowers on the nightstand, your daughter’s photo on your home screen, the window sealed shut from the inside.
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