His sugar plum lips
by Gabbie Robinson
His lips are still stained with Sugar-Plum Fairy,
It matches the chipped polish on his fingernails.
That’s the only thing she can recognize.
His face is smeared with blood and blush, his head misshapen.
What’s left of his clothing, a royal purple
tube top he borrowed from her closet,
is blackened with blood that
shines brown in the light.
She can only see his top half,
the rest covered by the black bag.
She scratches deep into her arms,
turning it red like his swollen limbs.
There’s hollowness to her chest,
like his caved in left side.
His light brown skin, like her own,
is mottled sick green and acid yellow
The squeak of the officer’s boots
amplified by stainless steel coffins.
She hates this cop with his peculiar
look, as if judging her for not collapsing
in grief. She holds herself still under
the mortician’s steady gaze.
“That’s my brother,” the tone alive,
self-conscious of the space it rings
through. The officer’s hand is light
on her shoulder as he steers her
from the room, the sharp teeth of
the zipper hiss behind them.