Elizabeth spoke with an off clicking lisp,
flamboyant red curls like a cloud of frizz
flowed over her shoulders. She wore red
flannel shirts, even in July’s heat, backpack
patched with duct-tape over her right shoulder.
No one escaped her wit. Her favorite time of day,
she said, was the hour before dawn, as darkness
dissolves onto the brilliant gold of sunrise.
After months of absences from poetry events
all noticed her scalp; spiked with gray hair
hidden by a floral kerchief, eyebrows tattooed
in light brown to match her pale complexion.
Today I feel like a pin cushion, she says with
a wan smile, it took four times to hit the vein,
I stare at the air and say a few prayers while
the medication slowly drips into my arm.
Elizabeth reads un-well verses, like a bird
with lifeless limbs raises above life’s aches
until her delicate voice dwindles into silence.
by Michal (Mitak) Mahgerefteh