for girls who don’t know how to say goodbye by Sierra Page

smile etched in a story. mouth wide open. head thrown back in laughter as you recall it. the last memory of her. getting so high she fell asleep in the car. body folded like a paper plane. hair wild & tangled. smelling like the sea. that dizzy bliss you had in the morning. you carried her home in your skinny arms.

or so i imagine.

you only seem to get drunk these days.

my hair is short. you & i light cigarettes and watch half of them just crumble into ash. a fragment of what is past. kind of how our insides feel. maybe. i hear the word ‘sexy’ from your greedy lips and don’t believe it for a second. i think i even laughed. everything around me is dissolving but no one has told me which way the exit is.

i have become a cliché. if only to keep his sort of sad-boy ghost lingering on the taste buds of my tongue i did not stop. stop smoking or writing. both done in toxicity. i think.

i have become a cliché.

i wonder where she keeps her last memory of you. probably stuffed in the closet. only for days where regret feels almost absent. almost. i imagine she looked at this same unshaven face. a much younger version of this man. this boy. the sound of “i can’t do this anymore” rings in her ears. it echoes in her bones. and your cathedral-built arms that were once her salvation walk away.

bodies chalk-full of dust. still coughing out yesterday. i try to walk over what has happened with my favorite pair of shoes. the ones with the worn out soles.

i should really throw them away.

i worry i have ruined myself in finding him. he lost nothing. he forgave very little. last thing i remember was going to bed without brushing our teeth. i think we fell in love when it was time to start putting our coats on. i think. maybe it was just me.

watch leaves drop to mud. every place i held you becomes a cemetery grave now. no one touching. no one visiting. no one kneeling to pray. it seems i took the wrong path home.


Sierra Page is a college student living in chicago, IL, studying english education & creative writing. she has also worked on the feminist literary magazine Persephone’s Daughters as a poetry editor. sierra discovered poetry in a period of healing from mental illness. she hopes to share this passion with her future students.