Index by Author

The Patricia and Emmett Robinson Prize, Spring 2018
Derek Berry
Not Another Teen Ghost Story: Libretto for Film Remake
Fade in from black:
I am late to your funeral.
In the passenger seat, I lift a bottle,
& here spirits mean both the way
my blood dances at the sound of your name & the clear prayer I swallow.
Flashback scene: sync up the music—summer jam,
untidy veins, blood alive with anything
other than blood. We are so high, everything we say is gospel.
Cue montage:
Outside the library, I dart across the parking lot,
hide in my car from the rain.
Acid rain, burning through the glass.
Took too much acid & you
found me squirming in the passenger seat,
took me to your house, a trailer
you shared with your sisters, a single
blanket separating bedrooms.
There you kept me safe from my own brain.
There are moments in this film
that only makes sense when the credits roll.
Last scene.
Somewhere, a song.
Somewhere, a shotgun.
Somehow, a cliché in the making.
Blockbuster death trope—suicide statistic.
Mud tongue turns blue.
The boy becomes a body,
burdened with the same old rural sadness.
This ending is only a surprise before we read the ending.

©2018 Derek Berry