toxicology - poems by maia vásconez-taylor

maia vásconez-taylor


to just how small you were but how

big the hole was that you left behind


When he died,

I wonder if he drifted from room to room.

His dad buys a cake for what would have been


his fifteenth birthday. I think about

reading every tombstone in the city


until I find where they planted him.

The sunset was so beautiful the night


he left. You lost fifteen pounds.

Maybe you got smaller because


the guilt was eating you away.

You were home when he stained


the carpet but you couldn’t stop him.

It was the winter you would hibernate


like a bear. No one blames you

for staying in bed that year.


Since you slept through the sound

of a bullet going through drywall/skull


now you don’t sleep at all.

When you close your eyes


you can still see how white/red it was.

You don’t even want to blink anymore.


You ended up in a morgue, desperate

trying to get that image out of your head.


You replace his anguished face with

the well-rested one. He is so calm.


He does not blame you. You hope

god is real for his sake. Or not even god,


just heaven. Heaven is a place filled with

pugs and kittens and he’s


finally happy here. He’s finally happy.


Another holiday went by without you. I do hope that

there was one great firework show up there.