(In Memory of J.S.)

Early Sunday mornings
we played guitar on the porch
of your old home.
The one hidden beneath
your father’s old paintings
of Venice Beach and
the revelry of a lost age.
You were lost to the sound
of slamming doors caught
beneath a cancer that
silently plagued you
and I smiled in awe
of your reverence for life
and hopeless desire
to bleach your collar white.
You made me wish
you were a man
I could love
and not weep for
at his deathbed.
Told me your life could fill pages
of endless fury and
maybe win me a Pulitzer
but I shook my head and
laughed, half-shrieking inside
at the bruises on your back.
And the wound your mother
didn’t care to bandage.
And death smiled
back at me
back at you,
and I hope every March
you read this
in your grave,
knowing our love story
is all but a ghost story.



Tori Shaw is a student at Franklin & Marshall College (F&M) where she is double majoring in Cognitive Science and Creative Writing.  She has studied abroad in Budapest and Copenhagen, and in her spare time can be found reading Bukowski and drinking coffee. She hopes to pursue a career in both clinical psychology and writing. Her poetry and nonfiction has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Hellebore, Peculiars Magazine, The Foundationalist, and OCEANS & TIME.