PICTURE NEGATIVE
by Gabrielle Amarosa   Stars’ Crossed Love
I see her across an inky sky,
Pure light,
Brighter than any other.She is part of the great bear—
Like a bear herself,
The strongest and most fiercely beautiful.We all orient ourselves by her—
There are more of us
Than pieces of sand on a beach.
Each doing our best
To light up a piece of the blackness
But none do so well as her.Is my love superficial?
For being so numerous, we are so lonely.
The distance makes me ache.
Closeness is a relative concept for us.
But still, I am envious of the
Proximity of the bear.Memorizing millions upon millions of my kind
Is no small feat—
But then again, I spend all of my time looking.I notice
When one of my kin winks
And then disappears.
My grief is long delayed,
But I only just found out.My greatest fear
Is that I will someday see my love
Wink and fade out.
An even greater fear:
What if she is already gone,
And I am only now seeing her memory?I hope I fade first—
I will not be missed, not by her.
But my world, still bright,
Would be unbearably dark
Without her.   Picture Negative
A sister never met—
If I never knew, can I still forget?
So many things I’ll never know:
How we’d love, fight, and in tandem grow.I think of her still when I walk to that grave
On silent January days.
How there are times I crave her advice,
But regret and “what ifs” are slippery as ice.There are many days I can’t feel the hole—
How can I miss what I’ll never know?
But still there are moments I can’t help but wonder…
Would she have protected me, because I am younger?Would we have similar talents, loves, and hates,
Would she fix my hair for dances and help me balance on skates?
Would we have the same dark complexion and hair,
Or would she be my negative, tall, graceful, and fair?Would we live in a house of three women, then?
And harbor an even stronger distrust of men?
I think we would laugh, loud, carefree, and strong,
But most of all I would understand a sisterly bond.  She
She lives where I live,
Inside me,
Behind me,
Occasionally through me.She pounds a drum
Incessantly,
Like another heartbeat.
The doctors think it is another heartbeat.
But it’s not.
It’s her, and her
Thrumming, toneless, never-ending drum.
A call to action
Or a call to insanity.
Either way, I rarely pick up.Sometimes, briefly, she takes over.
I wish she would do it more often;
I’m tired, and she’s tireless.
I try to imitate her but I’m
Too close to her to do it justice.
The space between us is like
Between a finger pressed on a mirror
And its reflection.I snatch glimpses of her sometimes
In my own reflection or mind.
I beg her to stay, but she goes.
Back to her drums.The thumping in my soul
Unfurls into a thumping in my head.
I wish I could turn myself
Inside out
So that she was facing the world
And I was facing her drums.
I would not touch them.
I would only sleep.
She does not need the drums to call her
To action or to insanity—
She answered both long ago
And they live inside of her
The way she lives inside of me.I don’t have the stamina
To drum the way she drums,
Ceaseless and eternal
But somehow always fresh and new.But maybe
My final waking act
Can be to drum her out
So that I can sleep.Come out, come out,
Come out.
Her drums are louder.
COME OUT, COME OUT,
COME OUT.
Her drums are faster.
COMEOUT, COMEOUT, COMEOUT, COMEOUT,
COMEOUT, COMEOUT.I am no match for her
And we both know it.
The hands of my soul are already raw.
The vibrations have already
Shuddered up through my jaw
And settled into my temples.I catch her attention
The same way a child catches a bubble,
Where the very act of doing it undoes it.I slap the drums once more,
Loudly,
Frustrated down to the hard pit of my being.I am going to sleep.
Either she will come out,
Or she won’t.
I will not be awake for it either way.
My call was not strong enough;
Is hers?I feel heavier and heavier,
Until even my ears are too heavy
To hear her drums.
I slip into the softest black
And the sweetest silence.
My last conscious thought
Is to wonder whether the drums stopped
Or whether I am just too far away
To hear them or feel her. I take my hands off the drums,
Open my eyes,
And see the sharpest white.My turn. About the Author:Gabrielle Amarosa is a high school math teacher living and working in Lawrence, MA. A recent graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, she has a major in Actuarial Mathematics and a minor in Writing and Rhetoric. Her poetry has been featured in an Arts in Reach poetry collection.
    

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