By Casey Shelley

Ajar

Entwined, a bond
you cannot break: 
maternal. 
Together, she would say
there’s always a way. 
There wasn’t. 

I knew, at nineteen,
nothing but latex and IV’s. 
The smell of it:
spreading.
Appointed to watch while
light decayed to dark.

It happened and I held my life
in a jar of ashes.
Each emerald eye
entirely emptied: 
hollowed hearts 
of sisterhood. 

Familial fears form
makeshift memories:
anything but that.
Together, we say
there’s always a way.
There is. 

Of Love Poems

Love, I’ve learned
is more than
flowers & gold.

                         —it’s chalk on pavement,
                         bandaged knees, 
                         teaching without a degree. 

Love, I’ve found
is scribbled notes 
locked away for an 
I miss you day.
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