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  You could have a big dipper   

my mom’s tombstone by Makenna Dykstra

CW: Death

took three years to lay

and fends off the worms of 5 states west

the walks i take keep leaving me

at the cemeteries a few blocks down

in new orleans, graves are above ground

because after centuries of slow drowning

the water leaves the dead

to another kinder element

a sign i pass says

welcome to the garden and amid

the rows of crumbling marble

i catch myself looking for peonies i never laid

growing season was spring

and undead i buried myself

hoping the wet would force

the hand of time and i’d wake to flowers around me

carried to waste and left

as kindle for the cats of the bardo

crumbs of the spirits

cannot offer enough sustenance for survival

but we dare nevertheless

look angels in their stony bloodshot eyes

and assume some semblance of similarity

the highest insult remains anthropomorphism

after all, have you ever noticed

that human’s most generous gift

to each other and the rest

is our ruinous leftovers?

even grief forsakes itself for plant

all flowers remain buds


Makenna Dykstra (she/her) is twenty years old and currently an undergraduate student at Tulane University in New Orleans. This fall, she will be pursuing an MA in English Literature also at Tulane. She can most often be found in the local parks, writing, reading, or admiring the oak trees, though tonight she will be making lasagna.

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