Through the Viewmaster
What they don’t tell you is that memories
only fade around the edges, leaving
behind vivid images, crisp recollections
tinged with the smell of bleach permeating
white walls, plastic tube shining
as it curves, punctured
puffy flesh, EKG beeping continuous.
The tan foundation hides the paleness,
She looks like she’s sleeping. Piercing
the pit of your stomach, you. Watch
the strongest man you’ve ever known fall
apart, bloody knuckles, vomit in grass.
The electronic voice on the phone,
The number you are trying to reach has been
disconnected. Yet you keep the voicemail locked
in your cell. A baby blue lazy boy no longer offers
comfort, hyacinths on marble. The empty seat
at your graduation, the short fat Douglas
fir, pine needles draped in ornaments
and tinsel, reflective. Song stuck
on repeat in your head: I’ll have a blue
Christmas without you.
Melinda Ruth is a senior creative writing major at Salisbury University and is the fiction editor for the schools literary magazine The Sacarab. Her work has appeared in, Summerset Review, is forthcoming in Red Earth Review and Broadkill Review.