A poem by Leah Mueller

In My Dreams, You Are Still Dying

blue water
In my dreams, you are still dying,
but I leave the room, miss the moment
of your departure. You shuffle about,

reluctant. Eyes downcast,
you cling to chairs and walls,
then stumble. I am unable to catch you:
your frail body runs through
my fingers like water.

I scatter your ashes
along the Pacific, at the edge
of your savage homeland
that spit you out like a seed.

You never felt good enough to be anywhere.
Each house was too small, each workplace
untenable. Now, indifferent waves

accept your fragments without question,
turning what’s left of you into sand.

I am doomed to a body: that familiar bulk
with its animal vexations. I tow its weight
and pay for its maintenance.

The void has swallowed your remains,
like you always knew it would.
Each star holds one of your molecules.
The ocean will wash away the rest.


Leah Mueller is the author of ten prose and poetry books. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Rattle, NonBinary Review, Glint, Midway Journal, Citron Review, The Spectacle, Miracle Monocle, Outlook Springs, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, etc. It has also been featured in trees, shop windows in Scotland, poetry subscription boxes, and literary dispensers throughout the world. Her flash piece, “Land of Eternal Thirst” will appear in the 2022 edition of Sonder Press’ “Best Small Fictions” anthology. Visit her website at www.leahmueller.org.

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