By Jayla Martin
Ethel Beauregard is not dead.
Ethel Beauregard is alive.
She died, not with a choked gasp, scream
Not metal or a screech
Ethel Beauregard died of paper cuts on her fingers and face
She died, not of heartbreak, but of a heart made whole too many times.
She did not die with her whole life ahead of her,
For she was old, and knew better than to dream,
Nor with her whole life before her eyes
But thinking only of one place…
Somewhere in the world there is a procession of weepers, dressed in black, and circling an open grave.
I am not there.
I am in a library.
A forgotten corner
Full of yellowing books of poetry and light from a single window,
a wooden chair, and a single desk
And perhaps I knew her better than anyone else:
For she did not die full of courage, strength or humility,
But full of brass keys to unopened locks to unopened rooms that lay old and forgotten,
She died full of yellowed letters, tragedy unread
She did not live of cloud and light
But of wood and dust she is buried
As she always was.
She did not die of old age
It was not old age that killed her
Don’t look for her in a hole, or at a grave of stone.
She is not there.
Ethel Beauregard is buried here
In the forgotten corner of a library
Among yellowing books of poetry
In the light from the window
Among spines of poems that mourn and weep the emotions never read
The forgotten poetry of the unnamed thousand
Covered in dust
Ethel Beauregard is not dead
For she lives in the corners of a library
Where forgotten things go to rest.
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