We lie in defeat like crumpled flowers, filling the bones of our child’s bed. Later, I’ll run a scalding shower, emerge scarlet-skinned—a jarring red. Emerge to you still lying on saline- sodden linen: the tear-stained white sheet of our child’s ghost costume, unworn. This year, there will be no tricks or treats. No child sucking on lemon drops, banging his pumpkin pail to his hollow tune. Only us and the mourning—dark fish stuck together in an oil spill, a sea of grieving,
each eye leaking an ocean. Each mouth open: a silent singing resounding six feet deep.
Brittany Atkinson is a MAW student at Coastal Carolina University. She is Barren Magazine's first-place poetry contest winner. She enjoys sunflowers, overalls, and poetry.