Greg Larson is a second-year MFA candidate in Creative Writing-Nonfiction at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He is a nonfiction editor for The Barely South Review, and his work has appeared in Proximity Magazine, Ruminate Magazine, Switchback, and others.
You were once an angel, descended from another world.
I loved you back like a brother loves his sister.
You were a beautiful otherworldly creature.
Now, you are a raven.
Your bubbling blood boils like lava
spewing from Plutonian shore.
The potion in your veins has fermented to poison,
pecking at the once-genuine love you provided as
light to any person or room.
Now it vacuums every poor creature who enters
your black hole abyss from any molecule of brightness.
You are unlove.
You can try to paint or buy a pretty face and outfit
but it all amounts to
lipstick on your beak.
The sun cuts me awake.
I lean over, hug her for the first time in what feels like forever.
She’s sweaty from her hot sleep— I taste her.
We step into the shower—
heat clouding the bathroom,
and softly touch.
Wet shampoo drips from velvet snakes
slithering down her back. They smell like a hot summer garden
before a storm.
lips red like cherry
reach slowly to mine.
Her giggling mouth
slips through me.
As we step out the air cuts between us.
We embrace, laughing,
but it’s not quite enough
to save us from the cold.
As she dresses, I’m surprised with
dry forced kisses between articles of clothing
robotically preparing for the day.
She embraces me, and she smells
like sweet perfume, so lightly all over her—
just a tease of a taste of a whiff of the sweetest flower I can
Why is it so thick in my memory?
She doesn’t wear the perfume anymore,
I only catch it stale on her clothes—
hot viscous poison quietly running through Us Now
and Us Then,
like blood in my mouth.