sacrificed into residue – Perla Kantarjian

how much further must i go
to delicate this ordeal? this sharp
cut of remembrance?

in the mornings i speak softly
to the azaleas yet i fear
they cannot hear me call.

there is too much noise around us.
too much whimpering. too many farewells
dusking the heart. but i must remember to leave

the windows open so they do not explode into me when
the thing ticks off. and when the whir of an airplane hovers
around i must remember that not every sound

is there to kill me. the doctor said to surround myself
with sentience. but with each overpowering
body of life abreast me, i find myself

asking the same question: what would
it feel like to fall into the spine of the earth
and then gather my wings up, spiraling upwards,

my limbs rising into the sentiments of the stars unscathed?
the birds do not return an answer. the anemones do not
even jitter. when my salted hair could yet settle

upon my shoulders like molten sun,
times were not as rough. unresponsive. i
was once whole. chock-full of golden blood.

now, with every shard of fire i am slowly robbed of,
i am left hanging with all my paroxysms of unknowing,
silver thunder breaking open the crisp sky, its loudness

as urging as the recollection, nighttime
feasting on my loss of self — delighting in my
legacy of epinephrined crumbs.

Perla Kantarjian is a Lebanese-Armenian writer, editor, journalist, and literature instructor based in Beirut. Her work has appeared in over twenty-five publications, including International Literary Quarterly, Harpy Hybrid Review, and Rebelle Society. She also writes for Bookstr, is a submissions reader for Rusted Radishes, and pretends she’s a piano-playing butterfly.