Night blind,
awaken in a state of urgency
from one dream I can’t shake.
Even the insects in torpor,
and I’m thinking about that yellow nylon rope in Melbourne.
One violent execution
of fabricated guardian spirits.
Had I been breathing
hot, shallow breaths,
been older, or even born then
I would have taken care of you;
sweet six-year-old murderer.
Would have adopted you,
told your mother to take some Lorazepam:
                Barb, the world thanks you for your ability to reproduce,
                but politely begs you to retire.

Some things can’t be fixed.
Maybe they are still there waiting to be released.
I mean your friends with the J-names you can’t quite recall.
Jeb, Julie, and what’s-his-name (skinny)
tied to the tree at the request of mom.
It was just thirty years ago.
I’m sure we could find them
if you can go back;
I can go back too.
But only for the day.

In the dream we found the fiddlewood tree.
The rope was gone,
your friends dead.
Only a cicada, molting
its shedding outer skin.
Leaving one mud-crusted exoskeleton,
emerging a winged adult.

AMYJOY V. SEDBERRY is a junior at the University of Southern Mississippi and calls Jackson, MS home. She graduates in 2017 with a B.A. in English and plans to pursue graduate school. She ultimately hopes that her education in the liberal arts will provide a unique foundation on which to build a career as a licensed professional counselor.