Tegan Murrell

Standing in the Lukewarm, TV Static Salt Bath of the Target Baking Aisle,

I stare at the colored mini marshmallows
and think about my sister, who sometimes
melted the pastel pink, orange and yellows
on top of her hot cocoa like a doll house sunset,
but more often ate them straight from the bag
alone in her purple room
that smelled so badly of the medicine,
like curdled milk on her breath,
but at least her room wasn’t bleached clean

like this fluorescent emptiness
with people beeping all around me,
and announcements in calm women’s voices
breaking the all-consuming, sterile
light, and if I closed my eyes
I wouldn’t see the marshmallows anymore,
but the marshmallows are the only thing
that don’t feel like the ICU,
and there is buzzing behind my eyes,
which are dry because I haven’t blinked
since I saw the mini marshmallows,
tucked away in their plastic home,
screaming about what they aren’t,
and my roommate asks if I’m okay,
so I stumble on, and outside
the intravenous sunset
drips onto the pavement.

Tegan Murrell is practicing brevity.