Emma Rose Gowans
we leave behind mary, wrapped in yellowed gauze,
on our trip to the river. above, gulls curve their wings
into the delicate sun’s light — feathers bent on the radio
wave static, and i call out to them, the spongy earth trembling
beneath us, the last remnants of buried shooting stars. mary was gone
before the fall, sleeping in a ditch out by the River Bar where we once
swallowed the ghost of a good drink. mary worshiped the radio shrine;
now, a whole jukebox gurgles drunk with static in the river bottom,
and we wade through the shallows, backs gleaming honey
gold as we sink deeper, deeper. i call out to mary, but she is
not here, gauzy and unblinking, ungleaming and bloated
— a slow-drowned ghost sunk and suffocated, thrown
overboard only miles away from where Las Vegas
meets Babylon and the wide river.
Emma Rose Gowans is a second-generation Costa Rican-American with a passion for writing about girls, ghosts, and everyday life. She loves classical studies, collecting books, and the color pink. Her work has been previously published in Atlas and Alice, and you can contact her on Instagram: @emmarosegowans. She is 15.