God of Ruin

Shamar Hill

Heather,  I saw your name tattooed on a woman’s  shoulder and I wanted to  
tell her I knew you. You sat on the terrace, the glass door a vine of sunlight, a
cigarette glowing in your hand, the last time I saw you. I don’t want to think
of your body burst open on the tracks, the engineer I become trying to stop the
train. The last time I saw you staring into oncoming traffic, the distorted sound
of cars blurring highway, my attempts at distraction. When we were in college,
you said, I’ve never been attracted to a man. You kissed me and your lip ring
scraped my chin. After college, you sold your Stradivarius and travelled by
caravan to a dusty town in a treeless region. 197 dead horses on a hillside
covered in flies and mud like an elegy. The past becoming both foreign and
recognizable. The yellow platform edge—a frontier between crucifixion and
making it home. You  became both foreign and recognizable in the way only  
our fragility can speak to. 197 horses on a hillside, dead, and you thought of
your mother in a casket with a red dress she never wore. I felt helpless, you
said. She was dying and I couldn’t do a damn thing about it.