Topaz Winters is a poet, editor, actress, & entrepreneur. Her work has been published in Wildness & Winter Tangerine Review, profiled in Maudlin House & Cicada Magazine, & commended by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards & the National YoungArts Foundation, among others. She is the author of the chapbooks Heaven or This (2016) & Monsoon Dream (Platypus Press, 2016), & the writer/star of the award-winning short film SUPERNOVA (dir. Ishan Modi, 2017). At 17, she is the youngest Singaporean ever to be nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She was born in 1999 & resides at topazwinters.com. At this moment she is learning of California poppies, the difference between warm milk & forgetting, & how magic behaves in times of desperate measure.
The end begins with target practise: me & how
I always forget to keep track of your hands.
Sudden metal to my chest, finger on the trigger,
& your eyes, god, your eyes. Question you ask
that I would die before answering. & your finger
on the trigger & it's not a metaphor, it's not
hypothetical anymore. So if I must, I'll admit it
now, with the barrel of a gun the only confessional:
yes, I love the girl. I love the girl matchstick &
gasoline, something fierce. Something holy.
Something on my back & shotgun to my chest &
yes, I love the girl like 14 reasons to bleed into
the ground. I love her on the border of sainthood
& sinner, her mouth the way burning happens.
Louder than target practise & your eyes &
shotgun which could so easily slam the door
shut. Must I say it to survive? Then I will. I will.
I love the girl. I love her like bitter wine. I love her
like dead things eating their way into existence.
If I must say it, I'll say it like emergency exit, like
dismemberment. Yes, I love the girl. I love her like
glowing in the dark. I love her like animal. I love
her like shotgun to my chest, already on the way
to unknowing. Yes, I love the girl. I love her terrified
& wondrous, creature hiding from its own fury. I
love the girl with your finger on the trigger & your
eyes, your eyes, nothing in the universe gentler
than this. What are you waiting for? There is no
more to give. I love the girl. Can I not have this soft
thing, too? On my back & shotgun to my chest &
question on your lips & no more words to hear.
So pull the trigger. I love the girl. I love the girl.
Go on, I dare you, finger kissing metal. I love the
girl. Pull the trigger. I love the girl. You are so close
to something. I love the girl. There is no place
quieter than here. I love the girl. I love the girl.
Go on. I dare you. Pull the trigger.