in absentia

in absentia

truth is i (probably) loved you
but only in the way of burned silk
& crumpled paper cranes. only like
i taught myself every jeweled facet
of ruin, first. this is what i always do.
i never learned how to praise a thing
without calling it perfect. this garden
is a corpse & beautiful with it, every bird’s
song a death knell. a funeral dirge.

i didn’t cry till we left the cemetery
& even then it was only for how
the dry rose-petals undid themselves
into the wind. how the words
picked the gravel from their palms &
exhaled into sunday, then monday,
& sunday again until the forgetting.

SweetheartPRINT 72dpi Holly Sharpe.jpg

Art by Holly Sharpe

Holly Sharpe is an artist and illustrator from Scotland, UK. As well as working on commissions for various clients, Holly also dedicates a lot of time and focus to continually creating her own new drawings and illustrations. Her work usually explores colour, fashion, and female expression whilst constantly exploring new ideas and playing with different aesthetics. Holly originally studied Printed Textiles, and this is feeding into her work more and more as her work becomes more layered and tactile with a strong patterned aesthetic, namely in her recent 'collage' works. Instagram: @hollysharpe_drawings

Quinn Lui is a Chinese-Canadian student and writer. In their free time, they enjoy picking flowers and threatening to make their D&D character's backstory even sadder. You can find more of their work in Minetta Review, L'Éphémère Review, Nonbinary Review, and at