Apoptosis                                                                                                          —Emma Lyree Zubrod

Because carpet softened the sounds of the guitar
Because his hair had yet to thin
Because love is a form of witchcraft

Because the magazines were left in the toy room
Because men are visual creatures
Because children are impressionable

Because crawdads don't hurt as bad as you'd think

Because children are sociopaths
Because you'll be a wild raccoon someday too

Because December is a cold emotion
Because there are so many last chances
Because misconceptions are hard to correct

Because love is a series of secretions  
Because the carpet softened the fall
Because memory softened the guitar

Because the picture is unfocused
you have to step back to see it
Because it's not black
it's midnight blue

Because birds fly with a shared mind
Because I said so
Because it won't come out of the carpet

Because I love terms of endearment and he

uses them sarcastically Because
linoleum is a cold emotion

Because he ate a junebug and forgot my name
Because I am George
Because synonymous are love and lust

Because he knew me

Because fireflies can't live without the dark
Because the initial rush always wears off

Because beauty and worth are synonymous
Because it's safer than being wrong
Because we're trying way too hard

Because he wanted more: a non-real number
Because the imaginary can be useful

Because I stubbed my toe on it

Because my hands are sticky
Because we've gotten used to the shadows
Because I am made of influences

the way deer shed their antlers
Because she's faking it

Because you're a she

and she hates to beg
Because the nail-box had rotted through
Because life is a series of organized reactions

she's easy on the eyes
Because I know right from wrong
Because life is precious

Because glitter reminds the primal mind of shimmering water
Because night lights are for babies
Because you asked so nicely I touched it

and spiders went everywhere
Because he crushed me into the concrete

Because there's a strange beauty to concrete

Because she who hates to beg begged
Because I am Miss Jones
Because I saw it on TV

Because love is its own biological reward
Because lack of oxygen makes her feel alive
Because I always tell the truth
and that game could go on forever

Because there's too much of me
Because she said the purpose of life is to break you
Because it's nice to think so

Because the male bedbug stabs the female in the abdomen

to impregnate her Because there's not enough of me
Because it has been seven years

Because you're turning into your father
Because female pleasure is an evolutionary afterthought
Because I'm oblivious to what he's obviously doing

Because I'm a she
Because plans fell [all the way] through
Because the magic is in the shortness of the moment

Because there was a short in the wiring

Because love is physical and there always is
a market for it Because salt

increases the boiling point
Because they could hear it from the landing
Because he kicked down the anthill

Because it's easier to kill [all spiders] than to learn

which one will hurt you
Because death is just a formality

Because I wasn't paying attention
Because love is art
with enough practice

Because veins in the eye block vision
Because good bows are made with horsehair

Because I'll screw up the recording

Because synonymous are price and worth

Because a body is not skin all the way through
Because it's impossible

Because frogs leave their eggs after they lay them
Because love and manipulation are ____________
Because we held [explicative] hands

Because the star has long since imploded
Because I can't spell “apoptosis”
Because the sole wears through

Because emotion is a series of secretions
Because hitting it usually fixes it
Because the well is deep
            and the bullet still hot

Because she lives for her obituary
Because the notion threw me off
Because I threw it out of center

Emma Lyree Zubrod

Emma Lyree Zubrod is currently studying biochemistry at the University of Iowa. This is her first publication.

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2016