by Rebecca Brown

i. When I leave the room
my stomach seems to stay,
three steps behind.
It isn’t a coffin;
it’s a cardboard box,
so flimsy and yet
they say it will never melt
into the earth.

ii. My aunt left when she turned eighteen;
she didn’t say that Johnny Thomson
drove her to the cemetery
to feel her up,
she didn’t say
she could trace the outline
of every tombstone
across her chest.
My aunt left
when she turned eighteen.

iii. Every good poem
should include one allusion
to Helen of Troy.
Not to circle jerking,
not to egos,
only to the woman
locked in the tower, the woman
who couldn’t choose
to leave.

iv. After fifty years
my grandmother told her husband
he couldn’t stay the night
He goes to spaghetti dinners
with Margret Louise Inglewood now.
My grandmother lives
in the tombstone he left her.

v. My aunt didn’t say
they would have named her Helen.
She never made it out alive.

Rebecca Brown is a PTW student who enjoys drinking too much coffee. They hope to one day figure out what they are going to do with their life and intends on writing until they get there.