3 Parts of 4.5

December 18, 20172 min read

“3 parts of 4.5” is a poem about a death of a friend. Losing someone is never easy, but loss at a young age is particularly hard. I was inspired to write this poem when I heard of a girl who visited her hospitalized friend everyday. I could only imagine the constant fear/dread of losing someone when you see them. Although it may not be possible, I hoped to make an infinity out of a small moment. Although I may never be able to describe loss completely, I hope this poem came close.

There was probably a void filled with our whispers, waiting in emptiness
until everything went silent.

Then they told us there were dinosaurs, giant lizards met with icicles
the same color as the liquid in your IV or perhaps with the red

of your nail polish.
Some winged animal takes flight,
ancient ancestor of the goldfinch
we once saved in the backyard
while the sun set as honey does
at the bottom of a mug cup.
But how many ultraviolet
light years have passed from
that horizon?
Oh so many,
scalpels digging
into that scar
that keeps reopening
while you
sit clenching your teeth: stoic.
And now you’re
half-stitched up,
telling me about the time we
planted tulips upside down
as your chest rises with the beat of the rain and the story you’ve told
a million times.
The one that ends with a
only it’s a hollow echo of longing.

And I look away
because I can count your ribs
through the blue and white
pattern of your gown.
4.5 billion years are screaming at us,
pulling us away
into the crescendo of time.
Making your skin paler
and mine colder until we
both loose our grips.
But I want to sit here with you
even if it’s just
for 4.5 seconds longer.

One day I think
you asked me what outside looks like
and I said
exactly like before
and you asked me to pinky swear.
I pinky swear; I promise that nothing has changed. But
you knew I was crossing my fingers
behind my back.

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Eugene Lee

Highschool junior