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How To Stop Time by Megan Wildhood

the night my best friend drank the hell into may go on forever it may go on forever it’s funny how death is an ending that never ends like that damned song that worms into your brain

like how I wish memories of the dead do when they were living when they were really living I hate that my life now includes phrases like ‘it’s that time of year again’—sooner and sooner each year—

or ‘hey, remember when Sam was alive?’ ‘Remember when Sam was alive?’ ‘When Sam was alive’ at this time of year any year we walk fugues into the leaves and I leaf through each precatory day

while she churns the page, churns each page so she wouldn’t stay stuck, squirming to get out of the caverns of that life she’d made and I think I see her still—

I’d know that flail anywhere even as all I have is the kindness of words between us and between us and where she is now, in the gone, saying them as I hang the pictures

in the frames she gave me but not of her never of her anymore because I both wish and hate that memory is a tourniquet


Megan Wildhood is a writer, editor and writing coach who helps her readers feel seen in her monthly newsletter, poetry chapbook Long Division (Finishing Line Press, 2017), her full-length poetry collection Bowed As If Laden With Snow (Cornerstone Press, May 2023) as well as Mad in America, The Sun and elsewhere. You can learn more about her writing, working with her, and her mental-health and research newsletter at Follow on Twitter @mnrwildhood, Instagram @meganwildhood or via Facebook page: Megan-Wildhood-author.

EDITOR'S SONG PAIRING: TessaracT — Tourniquet (P O R T A L S )


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