Poem – Mammo (By Layla Lenhardt)

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At first, the grief was bare, an unsheathed sword,

its presence sharp. But then it turned, slowly,

into a faded tattoo on a hidden part of my body.

I tried calling your phone last night.

I don’t know what I expected, but I was scared.


When I’m dripping in too much darkness,

that same profound, welling of sadness finds me.

It appears in the strangest places; in the back

of my throat, at the roots of my heart. These moments

are punctuated by the smell of oolong tea, memories


of getting drunk off Blue Wave Vodka at Brian’s house, hiding

from the cops in your car. But you’re gone, you’ll never read this.

When I found out, I ate an edible and laid on my couch for 20 hours,

trying to wrap my mind around it, but it was just you,

swallowing lemons seeds, presenting your empty mouth,


tongue drawn out toward me, the pride you had in that moment,

the laughs that filled our empty stomachs, the crows feet on your

face when you smiled, like footprints in the snow.


Author Bio: Layla Lenhardt

Layla Lenhardt is Editor in Chief of 1932 Quarterly. She has been most recently published in Poetry Quarterly, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, The Opiate, The Charleston Anvil, and Scars. Her forthcoming Poetry Book, These Ghosts are Mine is due for publication this fall. She currently resides in Indianapolis.