Nothing is Left

Poetry / Shebana Coelho

I wanted you all these years. I wanted the edge of your dress in my teeth. I wanted the slice of light on your neck in the mornings. I sit opposite you every day in silence and pretend I don’t see you. I pretend I am a tall tree with blue bark. I pretend I am the door you open on your way to other places that are not me. Once you dropped a peanut from your purse, a peanut on the way to your lips and I couldn't decide if I wanted to be the peanut you bit into or the lips that touched it. I wait for the evenings of the world so you can be still, so you can stop your hurrying pace and fall silent in the sun. Those times, I feel you. This limbo, disembodied. I emerge from the wall where I live and settle in the hollow of the chair beside you and imagine the heft of your arm on what is left of me. Nothing is left—memory is dead.

Shebana Coelho is a writer and director. She received a Fiction Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), and a Fulbright Research grant to Mongolia. Her stories and poems have appeared in Word Riot, Chronogram, Malpais Review, Lummox, Madcap Review, Hippocampus Magazine, New Mexico Mercury, Sin Fronteras and NPR's On Being blog, among others.