Trauma is passed
from past generations
like heirloom jewelry
or black and white
photographs of family
we’ll never meet;
it is a recessive gene
waiting to be
I hear her screaming,
that ancient woman.
I feel the thrash,
the flood of adrenaline
that left her soul
yet preserved her body,
so we both could survive.
In my pulse,
she still taps out SOS.
Fall back because he won’t look at you. Further and further behind,
Give him five seconds more, and if he still won’t turn and wait,
disown the arch of his eyebrows,
fall even further behind.
Stumble and slip on the slick of the tide pools,
smash the pink shell of a hermit crab into five separate pieces
underneath your sandal
when you catch yourself. Yourself.
If he doesn’t look back to see it,
disown his crooked teeth, the soft snore that drifts between them.
Forget the twitching of his fingers and the muscles in his thighs
when he runs from you in his dreams.
Give him a full minute; count it out slowly, to be fair.
This is his last chance.
Hum in the style of Mick Jagger, and if he still does not turn and extend his hand,
forget the short, thin fingers and how they used to be intertwined, braided with your own.
They are longer than his. They are no longer his.
Repeat over and over: Lord, I miss you.
Lord, I miss you.
I want to kiss you.
Forget ever being in the same room.
In the Blue Room,
Nana’s dolls witnessed.
Pretty painted porcelain
faces turned twisty
never once blinked but shed
He laid me out
where I used to sleep
and pulled off my mood ring
with his teeth.
Samantha Lamph/Len is a writer and cat masseuse in Los Angeles. She is ruled by the moon but called to the ocean. You can read more of her work in Luna Luna Magazine, Occulum, Queen Mob’s Tea House, and Connotation Press. She is also the creator and co-curator of Memoir Mixtapes, a literary journal that publishes creative nonfiction and poetry inspired by music.