Catching Lizards

By Juliette Lopez

TW: drug abuse/overdose and death 


A crying emoji on Facebook. 

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.”

Thoughts and prayers. 

Thoughts and prayers. 

Thoughts and prayers. 

Since when did death become so mainstream? 


And why do I feel so selfish for being sad? 

Like I don’t have the right to be — 

like someway, somehow, 

my feelings aren’t valid 

and my tears aren’t respected. 


And why can’t I stop thinking 

that my brother could’ve been you —

propped up against the bathroom door,

cold and alone, 

body already set in rigor mortis 

all night for someone to find him 

the very next day? 


“He was sad for a very long time.” 


But you were family 

and you were more than an overdose, 

and you were more than thoughts and prayers, 

and you were even more than what I’m thinking of you right now, 

and no matter how many years go by, 

despite what anyone tells me, the same picture of you will remain in my mind — 

a memory of us crawling through dirt and pebbles; 

catching lizards in a bucket till the sun set, 

never thinking that one day you’d die 

and I’d feel guilty for writing this poem. 


Generation Divide                                                                                     Green Onions