The Final Sequence

by Hannah Barrett / Garnet & Black

there is only so much a person can do 

when they realize they are 


it is a sudden thing 

the earth turning from a life source 

to the very thing that will pull 

the plug within a fraction of a 


a fraction of a moment 

where the lights reminded the woman 

of the home she once knew

a glimmer of the man 

she left behind when it became 

apparent that there was more she 

ached for than those 

       four walls

there is barely an exhale where the change occurs. 

across every fingertip

and along the 

       delicate hairs of her 

stomach, the woman feels the shift: 

everything that was once 

       harmonic and synchronous 

       falls           off 


the clock’s gears have become 

        tangled, but this particular 

        combination of hands and 

        chipped paint 

has never made an error

there is no emergency line to call.


when the woman’s toes no longer 

feel the rope, but instead

       the soft caress of open air,

she wishes that someone 

had told her to keep a list of numbers in a 

glass jar

“break when necessary”

but then she remembers

the one with caramel eyes

the memory leaking shades of crimson and

the woman cannot tell whether it is 

       blood from her wounds 

       or the person’s tears, 

but it does not matter. 

she had not listened. 

she is stubborn like that. 

as the earth stretches its 

talons up to meet the woman, 

she wonders if there is a life to be found

       without regret

or if everyone feels 

       like this 

when it is time

if there is always the endless 

       conveyor belt of  

              “i wish…”

                     “if only…”

                            “what if…?” 

the woman’s head is 


and her final thought is that if she could 

       re-do her death, 

she would have paid more attention

to the taste of the air as she 

       was falling

maybe then, 

it could have been a 

       final thrill

but she cannot remember 

what the mountains looked like 

       from that angle

she cannot remember 

whether the birds tried to save her 

she cannot remember anything at all.