Three Poems / by Olivia Thompson

two things, and a question. 

if there is a heaven—


I think that it must be something

like the boardwalk at Coney Island

at four thirty in the afternoon

in February.

very cold

and very light

and very clean

and very empty

and the snow, still white

trampled down by ghosts

or angels

and the sea on one hand

and the Wonder Wheel

on the other.


the first thanksgiving after you were gone

we all pretended you had

never even been here 


when it was time to set 

the table

no one knew what to do with

your empty seat.

awkward and

unplanned; someone switched out

your place card for a different one

still warm.

silently we all

pitied the boy who sat in the lap

of your ghost.

and after all the glasses had been raised

and conversation used up

we listened for you

but in the lingering silence

you were not 









or this morning,

at 4 am on the television there was

a special on 

the spotted hyena

violent and dirty and crude

slouching across the vast dry plains of africa hunched over

and cackling like some 

insane pack of homeless children 

eating and fucking and dying

very  ignorant very loud 

very alive.  then after the hyenas

outer space;

falling asleep to the sound of black holes

and the way light bends around a vacuum when 

it reaches the velocity of escape.







Biology class and you were a week past 

Fifteen sitting there

Before you (you imagined you felt it

Trembling) a heart so much

Smaller?  Smaller than you thought it would be or

So much smaller than a heart should be

Maybe (but not

Yours certainly although what’s the

Difference?  No not right now maybe later) then a

Scalpel in your shaking hands you

Pressed into the flesh thickly you

Carved it open with precise incisions

Ventricle atrium artery vein aorta vena cava

All brown and grey latex fingers peeling apart layers like you had

Any right to be there where is no room for you

Beneath your hand just muscles all bleached and dry and

Palely knotted scrubs of tissue clinging to the walls and

The blue blue sky arcing up above.





Olivia Thompson is an undeclared student, and will probably remain that way for the rest of her life.  She is from New Jersey.