This Might Be The End

I took a pen from the bedside table at the hotel
the one off the highway near the salt marshes,
the highway with two lanes, lined with the swell of seawater rot.

The floodwater had just subsided and the air was biting.
Lots of things had been lost.

I drove there with my windows open in slithering April humidity,
snuck up on the neon sign, crawling ashamed into what would be
too late for introspection.

Met by brown eyes, by fingers drifting out like seaweed.
Suddenly you realize that you’re really there, and
maybe the floodwater has not quite subsided, and maybe
we’re floating corpses, dreaming our last dreams
before the synapses turn to salt.

Death is a thought more beautiful than love, because death cannot be undone.
On the fourth floor, the wallpaper was the color of coral.
I coiled my hair behind my head, you whispered to my toes.
My smooth white belly, my fingers pink and trembling.

I smelled nothing but the crusted salt leftover after evaporation.
Maybe I was dehydrated, I tell myself. Maybe I just need this moisture.
You grabbed the sheets, I grabbed the pen.
Held it in my teeth, bit down on it as if it was all supposed to hurt.
You kissed my wrist instead. You kissed my fingertips.

This is where marriages end—in beds and in banks, signing forms with hotel pens.
Inviting the dreadful weight of him, the weight of knowing
that there are things in life which can never be completed.
I wonder if people die like this, imagining other ways to end a life.

Right here, this is where marriages end—when you close your eyes
and suddenly you’re like threads,
knitted together. Even if you’re pulled apart, they can all see dozens of tiny holes
where once there were guilty seams.
Later, you’ll try to brush the lint away, but it will cling to you.

Later, you’ll be drifting down the highway in the dark.
Someday, the floodwaters will rise up again
and you’ll be on the bridge.


A poem to the one I love

I wish
and in wishing, disintegrate

my lips quivering
how light your footsteps

I pause
what’s left of a honey-coated trick

somehow I leaned into you
kissed the palm of your hand
we were outside, horns slick in the rain

I wish
and in wishing, unravel

falling into my penance wherever I can find it
in kitchens and under stacks of paperwork
until I go to sleep

Wishing is a broken wing
a crack in the mirror, a barely visible scar

I swallow the wishing and the wreckage of the wishing
floats in my mouth

I spit the splinters onto the floor
and sweep them away

He knew nothing of my transition
nothing of the wishes I exhaled into his mouth


by Cassandra Morrilly


Cassandra Morrilly was raised in rural Ohio before receiving a BA in English from Seton Hall University, followed by an MA in Literature from the University of Colorado. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her pack of ravenous terriers, and works for Regis University.

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