Reader Poem — Jennifer Hernandez

Jennifer Hernandez wrote this poem in response to the October Poetry Prompts:

I never thought Michiko would come back
after she died

Bobbed hair glistening black,
pedicure blood red. Some ghost. Five inches
of air between the stoop and her Jimmy Choo’s
gave her away. “Hey, Michi-chan,” I croaked,
“What’cha doing back here?? I thought –”
“Don’t say his name,” she warned, her raspy
voice from inside a black hole. Talk about
conspicuous omission. He was the reason
for this strange encounter, Michiko hovering
over the front steps and me sprawled out
in the gutter, blood and sewage a-swirl.

He couldn’t stand our friendship, always
wanted Michiko for himself. Ironic,
self-absorbed as he was. I told her
to dump him. He was too into himself.
Would never care about anyone else.
The first three steps are the acceptance
steps, they say, but Michi-chan wasn’t
interested in acceptance. She was interested
in revenge, and since no one can be slain
in absentia, she planned to find him
and drown him. In his own reflection.