Town of Colma
I trace strands of California behind my left ear.
Life is long, my death deferred. At midnight,
moonlight deflects off granite headstones.
In the car, the air thickens. Breathing becomes a choice,
not something automatic.
I don’t want to be here anymore,
you say. And before you can finish saying anymore,
a disturbing cry pierces the windshield. I look straight,
then to my right as if trees and monuments could point
to who released the cry. Nothing.
Shades of black shuffle in the wind. My left foot
feels numb, I say,
it’s time to go.
And you turn your key to turn the car on,
and the car won’t start.
You turn it again, and the car won’t move
despite the pressure you apply on the gas pedal.
And then, we come to with one glance—
This is our last Halloween together.
Thea Matthews reads “Town of Colma”
Thea Matthews is a poet and educator of African and Indigenous Mexican descent born and raised on Ohlone land, San Francisco, California. She holds an MFA in poetry from New York University and her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in West Trade Review, Southern Indiana Review, Interim, Tahoma Literary Review, Foglifter Journal, The New Republic, Green Mountains Review, and others. Currently, Thea lives on the land of the Lenape, Brooklyn.