Snow shudders on bending grass, steeling against the settling ice, cold as stones.
As a child, I believed in separate afterlives. That some souls slept deep underground,
dreaming glimpses of cut-up lifelines, scattered like flower petals from stalks ripped at the root,
that the ravenous ground chewed and spat out. Other days I believed in a cloud-crowned paradise,
blanched with forgetting. I dreamed of bridges and always crossing over, one to the other.
And you, my love, resting your shaven head on pillows painted hospital blue,
blinking at the sunlight stretching to linger on the dying chrysanthemums by your bed,
you ask me if we’ll meet again. Voice breaking amid light laughter, the words I’llsee you next life
wedged between our teeth. As a child, I believed in separate afterlives.
Now, in the minutes before oblivion, there’s snow. Linen soft, falling on the bridge between us.
When you die, I will believe in something different. Will stretch the universe paper thin, until
the sky drips black and white. Down by the cemetery, a pine bough bends
heavy with the weight. A heart breaks with the bracken.
Shifts the snow.
Mandy Moe Pwint Tu is a writer and a poet from Yangon, Myanmar. Her work has appeared in Longleaf Review, Tint Journal, and the Santa Ana River Review, among others. She currently studies English at the University of the South. Hang out with her on Twitter @mandrigall.