Worry for a Friend

By Tyra Walker

Artwork by Alli Rowe

Have you ever seen
A butterfly with a torn wing?
You speak endlessly
Over a relentless future,
Every utterance a quill,
A stark, stabbing spine
That fends off all,
And causes you to bleed,
Bleed being that once beheld
Life worth living,
Each word a lilting sidestep
In time with your frenetic heart,
Dancing away from all that ever cared
And losing all that ever was.
Have you seen a rabbit
With an arrow in its chest,
Still trembling frantic?
Have you seen a collapsing building,
Ancient in its splendor,
Your youth ancient in its splendor?
I want to hug you until death comes,
To capture your heart
In the sprung trap of your collapsing rib cage.
I want to inflict the calmest still
Over your shaky and slender limbs,
And to cool the heat of your warm, wet hands.
I want to watch your fingers
Become like the empty blue winter sky,
To watch your searching eyes flutter closed,
To see your mouth quit its ceaseless work,
The curves resting, perfectly, naturally,
To feel each muscle as it relaxes
Like it hasn’t done in years.
I want to feel your peace.

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