It grew softly, like a mushroom in the dank corner of your tub.
Seemingly innocuous; it greeted you with pleasantries.
Planting roots within & up your walls
As it cascaded down the university halls, feeding off your organic matter.
Warmly, it cocooned bone, tissue and muscle, a placid hibernation of reality
That night you came home, moon-faced and just as out of reach
My fingertips reached for you and quickly recoiled from the heat.
The image in front of me was a silhouette of someone I once knew.
Rainbows, stained glass windows
Robbed of all your hues.
Or the time you took “way too much” and shivered under floral bed sheets.
Like a fetus in the womb; underdeveloped, defenseless, and weak.
Laying in rumpled fields of Forget Me Knots, exhaling Baby’s Breath
Setting suns bowed to crescent moons and I showered you in my arms
Remember the ring meant for me-the one you stole from mom?
Sapphires, diamonds, and decency held hostage within your pawned palm.
You know, she fired the housekeeper believing it was her
Accusations wailed like poisoned darts as she got what she “deserved.”
A circular pill, a cyclical thrill, branded with the number 40.
I find it kind of funny, that something designed to ease pain
Extinguishes everything else that remains
That clever chemical con; it strikes me as quite an oxymoron.
Gabriella Catena (she/her) is a writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She enjoys adopting stray plants, the endorphins from a good workout and playing outside with her dachshund, Dante.