Poetry & Art

Dark Rose

Pink flecks of blush swimming in the air, holding hands with the dust. The smell of hairspray and desperation intertwine into a soft quiet perfume. Girls in their curlers bustled around, palpable nerves tinging the air a shade of green. 

I can remember every detail of the day you called me. Your voice shaking and fuzzy, the connection spotty. You told me you needed my help, you didn’t know what to do, you had taken it too far this time, it was only an accident, you didn’t mean to. Said no one could find out, it would ruin competitions for you, it could ruin everything. 

You didn’t really care that there was a girl now lying face down in front of a vanity mirror. Foam coming out her mouth, frizzes of her hair winding in the reflection. Didn’t really care that her family would never hear her laugh again like you do whenever I remind you of this day. Of the story. You didn’t care that she probably had more pageants to do too. Probably had dreams, wanted to go to school, wanted to get a new boyfriend or a new car. 

But you did seem to care about the blood. You were fixated on the way it pooled in her eyes, red covering a silvery blue, making the faintest lavender. Spilling out of the corners, staining porcelain skin, rouging plump chapped lips. 

You were staring. 

And it was weird to see you stare at something other than your reflection for once. Confusing even. Made me think that there was something you loved more than the way you look. Made me think maybe you’re a little less like mom than I thought. Stronger than her somehow. 

Which is why I picked up the mascara you poisoned and put it in my pocket to toss out the window at a truck stop later. Which is why I put my jacket over your shoulders while walking you to the edge of the stage and said “You’re gonna kill it,” with a laugh. I laughed. And you killed it, first place. And you killed her, or they say an allergic reaction to eye makeup killed her. And no one ever has to know. And that’s how we ended our Summer.


by Ymani Wilds

Just an aspiring screenwriter / poet trying to find her way.


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