The Black Napkin Volume 1 Issue 5 - Page 34

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my auntie lost her homeland, and child in the same decade;

When her husband was next to go, she did not shed a tear;

On his deathbed, she did not say “y’aburnee” like she did her son before him;

We couldn’t tell if his funeral was her liberation from the years of his abuse and alcoholism, or if she was just numb from a depression that set her whole house ablaze;

How do you explain that there are worse fates than

death to someone who’s lost everything?

***

The third time I met death, I began to see him eye to eye;

Winter break freshman year, me and my high school friends joke about growing old, and living in a retirement home together;

When my best friend died a few months later, I began looking for her ghost everywhere ­

She always said my house could be the set of a horror movie

I began passing the guest bedroom, hoping the chandelier would start

shaking the showers in the women’s locker room turned on despite that

no girls visited the pool that day Her mother gets a tattoo of a ladybug

on her forearm in her memory my father told me not to keep the ribbon I

wore to her funeral ­says it’s bad luck to bring back trinkets from the funeral

of a young person in our culture my father says we should move; claims

he’s been seeing too many ghosts in the house for the past few months,

I’ve been seeing ladybugs everywhere ­