Sarah Jean Alexander

Beautiful Dead Things

I was snowed in at my mom and dad’s house for three days. I spent a lot of time watching my 8-month-old niece crawl around the living room floor. People don’t even need to watch television anymore. There are literally babies everywhere.

And then I watched her nap. She was so still. I kept thinking she had died. I had to touch her back to feel it sink and rise, to make sure she was still breathing. I did this many times.

In total, she died and returned to life 8 times while I watched.

Children are too vulnerable. Keep them away from me. I don’t trust anything that I could kill with a high-five to the face. I don’t want to be responsible for the feelings I should have if one of them dies.

I don’t want to be the owner of a beautiful dead thing.

Rain washed away the snow and I drove home.

My cat stretched as I walked into my bedroom and when I laid on my mattress she put her front paws on her face and fell asleep that way. I thought, “You’re right. I know,” and then sat up and googled my ex-boyfriend’s name. There weren’t any new updates on his blog and I decided that’s a good thing. If he died, would anyone tell me? How long would it take. I would be the former significant other of a beautiful dead thing.

I ordered two lunch specials online from a Chinese delivery place because the minimum for a delivery order was $10 and each lunch special cost $6. When the driver dropped off the heavy bag of food I said, “Thanks, we’re all starving!” and ran back up the stoop.

In actuality, I had eaten breakfast an hour ago and there was no one else home. I ate both lunch specials while hiding under my covers. I started to feel really defeated. And obese. I watched three episodes of ‘Home Movies’ and started to feel better.

I now weigh 8 more pounds than I did this morning. Ha ha ha ha ha.

My bed smells like sesame oil and fish sauce. I place the trash from the Chinese delivery on the pillow next to me and create a cenotaph for the ‘lo mein that once was.’ I lie down, tuck my hands under my cheek and stare at the newest beautiful dead thing I’ve created. We close our eyes together.

I still pray before I fall sleep at night. Ha ha ha ha ha.

I hope Jesus doesn’t read my blog. Ha ha ha ha ha.

Are you laughing? Are you laughing.

God, I can hear you!

I can hear you!



Sarah Jean Alexander writes from Baltimore, for now. She is the editor of Parlor and the poetry editor of Shabby Doll House. She spends the rest of her time at Publishing Genius and in bed.