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“Grace is a word that stings.” Megan Fernandes

When asked if I’ve ever attempted or began the process
resolved to end my life, the decades’ past dandelions throw up

up their heads. Radiant silence. A type of yellow. Her hair.
I could mouth off and hit them all with branches torn in a clearly

violent way, a likeness to hurricanes, a left-rattling subwoofer.
Decade of acid rain. Decade of smog. Of ozone holes and the green

house effect’s definition glaring from the new edition earth science 
textbook. When the stick was a brain that cracked against my head.

I tell the story of the highway. When I stood in front of it like the cartoon
facing real life. The no hands that grabbed me back. The headlights

that might not brake in time. From the top of the highway, on a clear day,
you could see the Manhattan skyline that we called the city. Blinking

needles. The rat incisors of Twin Towers. I ached to be launched there,
but only so I could touch it, pummel the silver line. Nobody was ever

around to guard me like a ghazal. I put a thumb print to the white 
beef fat congealed in the Folger’s can. I pushed down into its sludge. 

The sting of hay grass stooped low in the corral. A story in reverse 
is still a story. AM radio crackling a gray man’s voice. Hands cranking

the wheel left as headlights soaked my figure. The panicked cartwheel 
of the service road opening into a Hess. Green and white candy above us.

Cold butterfinger, a can of Coke, the expressway exhaling beneath us.
Her hair. Italian black. Radio silence. I held my chin up the whole time

every time I threw up. The dandelions resolve to end my life every 
decade I see them in. To carry the branch in my mouth, I keep biting down

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