“If I Were to Outlive You” by Ellen Webre

If I were to outlive you,

I would feel the poet in me blackening,

nails pulling in like a sea of petals

in the mouth at the end of the world.

I would follow you into the underground,

but I know you’d sweep the past

with such stars there will be no footprints

with which I could reel you home.


It is no surprise that you leave me.

I do not fit with the other sparrows

in your ribcage, do not belong

in your fields when the cornstalks

snap under a broken boot.


Where does the moon go in the daytime?

It buries her heart in a foxhole, leaves it

safe and sweet, and I don’t remember

where it went. I can’t find it because you

gave it to me. At night I feel her scuttling

down my back. I would ask you to catch it

for me, strip hot skin tender, carve a squirrel

from my thigh and mix glitter in the blood.


We would catch her, clawed, gleaming,

lapping up milk with a mirror. But you are so

beautiful. I don’t doubt that she would take you

by the tongue, fly to the heavens, kiss you

senseless and give you my immortal life.


Ellen Webre is a biracial poet from Southern California, who has chosen to live among the extraordinary. She is present in the Orange County and Long Beach poetry scene, and has often been featured. Her present and future publications include Gingerbread House Lit, Black Napkin Press, The New Engagement, Kindofahurricane Press, Plain China Review, and Raundi Moore Kondo’s anthology “Short Poems Got No One to Love.” When not employed at her music school and art studio, she is working on film projects and eating tasty things.

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