The day no one dies is a quiet hell: a man moans beside his car
crash, broken blinker stuck in the eye unblinking. A woman wakes to the sound
of silence, cold sweat, sprints to her baby's room. Sleep. Twenty thousand burglaries occur
like normal. Push-ups press against prison walls. Unsurprised suicides laugh at the inevitability
of falling forever, and drunk teenagers dive from high places concrete-skulled
with unconquerable smiles. The day no one dies every surgery is successful
prayers answered. The elderly give chocolate chip cookie grins for their grandkids
while at night they ask “Why? Why?” to open ovens. No graves get dug. Miracle
is a 79 cent dream at the gas station, hot dogs turning beside it slow with promise. Breath
baited, needing what once was--to perish--we wait for you, guns in our hands. Like a kid called
to bed from the garage waits, hand over the switch, watching
a bug drift closer and closer to the light.
James is a queer (they/them) poet from Scottsdale, Arizona, currently finishing their undergraduate degree at Northern Arizona University. A musician as well as poet and fiction writer, James has a history with anxiety and depression, and they hope the reader finds something familiar, and hopefully healing, in their work.