In Memory Of

It is December.
It is winter.
The sky and water blend together
in a gray painting only
a poet could separate.
I walk past benches marked
“In Memory of.”
Everything is death.

I think about the times I wanted it.
Prayed for it.
Everything living out of reach.
Not meant for me.
Sold out.
Invalid request.
Requirements not fulfilled.

But here death lives.
I tread on its bones.
Not wanting it.
Not minding it.
It is.

Lingering like an old dream.
The real and the unreal.
What was and almost was.
Here lie the parts of me that died
in trembling hands
just out of reach
of hope, of will, of a gun.

Tori Bryl is from Palm Coast, Florida and studies creative writing at the University of Central Florida. Her poetry is featured or will be featured in Aeolus, Foliate Oak, and Bridge.