I press an ice cube into the dirt beneath
my white orchid. You wash your bloodied
pillow in the sink, like cherries coughed out in sleep.
You work the stains and water runs muddy
down the drain. Your arms are an atlas,
sectioned off by veins that I could crush
with a firm pinch. “You need a cactus,”
you tell me. “Those things are tough.”
I don’t respond. There’s no going back
when the core is rotten. Nothing left to slice
away, to sacrifice. We only have pieces: cracked
coral, chipped bones—the foundation of a house.
I don’t look at you, I stare intently at the leaves
of my orchid. This, I can keep alive.
We look for the red moon on the wrong side
of the mountains. I’m scrolling through some pics,
Instagram’s full of copper blurs—the sky
reduced to a square. I’ve never seen an eclipse,
or a sunrise, or smelled the Atlantic.
I still can’t ride a bike or hold my breath
in the dark. Your hands are fast and frantic
for me, but I twist away from your reach.
You like saying the threat of the move is more
aggressive than the move itself, but I
don’t believe the things you say anymore.
We’re still on the same road, combing the sky
for the damn red moon, but it’s hiding just
out of sight, aware of all the blood between us.
Samantha Kennedy is a copywriter from the San Francisco Bay Area, where she writes about antique furniture for money. Her writing has appeared in Voicemail Poems, BOAAT, Witch Craft Magazine, and Literary Orphans.