Pa jis

Her smile puts mine to shame

curled down in the middle


her laugh makes mine seem hollow

wheezing under the weight

of so much pretending.

I still can't write about her

in the past tense.


I have to smile for both of us;

laugh with twice the lung capacity.

Love with the intensity

of her heart and mine.

Her heart was so much bigger

strengthened from the demand

that being "there"

imposed on it.

Like her vessels dilated on command

to send rushing blood to the organ

that, in turn, nourished more

than my timidly beating muscle

and constricted arteries

may be capable of.

I wish she was an organ donor

and someone could have saved her heart

in time

to transplant it into my chest

to beat next to mine.

Instead she is ashes

collected from the rubble

of the inexplicable unfairness

that didn't let either of us choose.

In Creole they say "pa jis":

not fair.

Not fair.


  1. This is so good, Rachel! Thank you for sharing it.


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