Chanice Cruz

You Left Your Porchlight On Neighbor

It rained hard/the day after you were found/sitting on a lawn chair/your hands folded over one another/your mouth twisted/like you were in the middle of talking/by the time they found you./ The morning after you died/I thought I saw you peeling back/the curtain/as I walked to my car at 3am/facing the darkness head on.

And all I can think of was you./Do you remember when this neighborhood was all trees?/The decade my mom spent wondering if she could claw herself out/a time of safety and suffocation.

At 3am/I am running to my car/holding my breath/so I won’t drown in the memories/in the heap of souls surrounding me/there are so many people I am carrying with me these days./I’ve always been told/to face the darkness head on/walk like I’m not afraid of what is lurking/never be afraid of the shadows up ahead.

The morning after you died/your porchlight was on/did it call you home Neighbor?

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Chanice Cruz is originally from Brooklyn, NY, however, credits Richmond, VA, for introducing her to the slam poetry world. She is currently an Open Mic coordinator at Kew & Willow Books in Queens, NY and is a co-host for The Poet & The Reader Podcast. She received her bachelor’s degree in English at Queens College. Her poems have been published in Newtown Literary, Sinister Review, Periphery Journal, and several other literary magazines.