As We All Have

Emily Dolan


I saw a murder once

It curved upwards like a smile

                diamond hardness softened

                by the swiftness of its life

The corners of its mouth wilted

                back to neutral stance

                smile turned foggy memory

Haunting things in rearview mirrors

                we keep our eyes ahead


I heard a murder once

Like child’s laugh and broken glass 

                eardrums —thin things that shatter quick

                windows open in a windstorm

                who knows what will fly in

The ghouls are out to play tonight

                we hear them in the gales


I committed murder once

Tied a noose where kindness should’ve gone

                felt the breath of cold steel against

                my face, urging me to use it

When the moment came

                I didn’t hesitate

                created one more apparition

As we all have done


I’ve been murdered once

Skin gone white and bones to dust

                crushed by cement waterfall

                landmine buried beneath kind eyes

My intuition long escaped

                from open eardrums, smile cut

                into my cheeks

                                (there is no neutral now)

I greet the ghosts as I drift by

                we are only now a shell



Emily Dolan is a 25 year old poet currently living in Sevilla, Spain. After completing her biology degree in 2016, she moved to Europe in pursuit of a professional soccer career. She has prior poetry and fiction publications in the Mangrove Review, and has publications forthcoming in CircleShow and Inklette.