a heaviness sat on her chest, pressing
leaving behind a darkness that marred
that pierced a black hole in her chest
a relentless hole that sucked all emotion up
into its void; the good, the bad
and the ugly.

no tears leaked from her eyes, though
a faint ache pulled on her heart and
a bubble of air lodged itself in her throat
she tried to swallow it down, only to be left
with a sharp pain in her lungs
and a heavy lull in her chest.

the man she saw before her
was no man at all
he laid too still, too peacefully
folded up in the carved-marble box
ready to be bolted shut and locked away
until it grew old and dusty.

the white rose she held tightly in her palm
was pressed against her nose
the small hum of his breath as he slept
echoed in her ears
an echo of what used to be
and would never be again

she inhaled a shaky breath
the floral aroma of rose petals
flooded her senses
she closed her eyes
and finally cried.

Raelee Lancaster