It goes something like this: / she and I are in the hospital. Then we are in the car. / Then we are in the hospital / again, only now she is talking to herself and the ghosts and me and now / it sounds like a strangling. / Now that’s a metaphor I can get behind. / It goes something like this: / it’s not a metaphor anymore. / It goes something like this: / a knife and a finger / could almost pass for a quiet accident. / Let me talk to you about all of the ways she pronounces mercy. / Nobody else has given me time to explain / how her tongue licks around the syllables like a creature / on the pavement to paralysed. / It goes something like this: / a fugue. / A forged invitation. / A little girl with something in her lungs / and then she is not a little girl. / How it sounds like / take this moment and do not let it go. / How it sounds like please.Please, darling. / How it sounds like a bite / and then a kiss swallowing its own tongue. Something in the distance screaming like the old wounds do. / Something in the distance forgotten until it isn’t forgotten / anymore. / How it sounds like / a softness. A strangling. / Please, darling. Don’t everlet it go.

Topaz Winters is a writer in a raining city. Her poetry, essays, & fiction have been published in Wildness & Winter Tangerine, profiled in The Huffington Post & Cicada Magazine, & commended by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards & the National YoungArts Foundation, among others. She is the author of Heaven or This (2016) & Monsoon Dream (Platypus Press, 2016), & at 17, she is the youngest Singaporean ever to be nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She was born in 1999 & resides at http://www.topazwinters.com. At this moment she is learning of California poppies, the difference between warm milk & forgetting, & how magic behaves in times of desperate measure.

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