“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