Rotten Truth by Carolyn Hasty

a funeral
a crowd of black swarming around a closed casket
hot tears on cold cheeks
four words, five syllables

the sky became cloudy once the golden child died
and I remained
they look at me
I know what they’re thinking
four words, five syllables

the dull cry of a violin
footsteps far too gentle on wooden floors
the smell of musk and old perfume
and something earthy
a reception for death
four words, five syllables

a paper plate filled with food I have no intention of eating
pitiful eyes burning into my face
I don’t look up from my lap
the words remain on repeat
four words, five syllables

an eerie ride home
the car void of your laughter
no one turns on the radio
and Dad won’t look at me through the rearview mirror
his lips pressed tightly to hold back the painful truth I know he wishes to say
four words, five syllables

sitting alone in my bedroom
just weeks ago you sat here with me
one second the colored pencils you bought me for my birthday sit on my desk
the next, I have thrown them across the room
my heart shatters with them
scattered color amidst the darkness
four words, five syllables

a car crash
they say you weren’t in pain
how would they know that?
four words, five syllables

you were headed to pick me up
I called you nine times
I wasn’t supposed to be out so late
and you weren’t meant to be driving
four words, five syllables

lifeless eyes
both yours and mine
everyone here thinks the same thing
the rotten truth is four words, five syllables
it should’ve been me