Nothing Beautiful

By Kayla Hochman

If leaves are lovelier in decay,
Can I be lovelier too?
Does the furious, tormented red
Flooding my cheeks
Transform me into
The festive autumn tree?
So beautiful,
Even as I fall
Even as I crumble.

Nothing beautiful is meant to last
Frost spoken words,
And fleeting gold that can never stay.
Leaves fall
Flowers wilt
And you leave.
It should come as no surprise…
You were too beautiful to linger.

I want to rid my life of you.
How dare you cling to me
From so far away?
I want to scream my fury
Like so many tragic Shakespearian heroines
Who suffered from Hamlets and Othellos like you.
I want to lament your crimes in soliloquies so magnificent
They will die upon my cracking lips.
I am the only actress named in this playbill.
And yet, my one-woman-show,
Still stars you.

Your sweater still sits in my closet
The furthest corner of my heart
In which I buried you.
You left.
Not the other way around
So don’t let that faded reminder
Believe any trace of you
Is welcome to return.

This is the day you will finally leave–
Exactly 98 days after you already left.
Today, I will write your name
With pink, bubble-letters
With elegant cursive
With the most exquisite penmanship I can manage, so utterly beautiful.
I will trace each curve of your name
In chalk.
On the sidewalk.
Before a rainstorm
To wash you away.
Nothing beautiful can stay.

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