Lampshade by Allison Lange


7 CEN 7147A

Audrey Parks

I told everyone who listened
that it should have been me.
The pioneer, the sacrifice. The difference?
It should have been me.
But it was you who jumped from the balcony.

Gravity belied you,
pulled you down among your spirit,
where your spine twisted but lacked the snap.

I am going to believe that you were trying to fly.
You could not steal the wings off your guardian angel
before he laid you down on concrete.

He did not lay you down to rest.

I told everyone who listened
that you lived for a reason.
I visited you in the hospital.
Do you recall?
Your hair washed in the color of the creamy light
celestially envisioning Seven Central.

You enlightened me of your nightmare.
You did not try to join the birds when they attacked you
this time
in your dream, in your phantasmagorical forest.
You did not jump when
black tessellations of avian REM
descended upon you.

Instead, you explained their presence to me.

Slender arms spun runes
above your haloed Slavic head
as you mimed the annihilation
of your specters, in requiem
Because you misplaced
the English words
to tell everyone who listened

“I tore them apart.”

The name of this poem is the number of a room in UVA Hospital, in which I visited a friend. This piece is based off of our conversation. Writing is a way for me to contemplate the lives of others and find solace and vitality in my own.