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A Redwood Frame

A Redwood Frame


On her second submission, we see Sariah Bunker delve into another bevy of difficult subjects: rejection, religion, and family. Replete with heartbreaking detail, we're proud to present "A Redwood Frame."

A family should never have to choose between one of their own and their God, but they so often do.

On May the fifth, 
when Mexicans caressed on bloody bedsheets
and battled between layers of control and freedom, the sky made love
—a violent thrashing romp—
and I bit the hand that fed me.  

But I’ve been starving myself for too long;
I submitted to one love and denied another.

My portrait swung on their wall—the only one with a vermillion rim.
Except for the one of our brother,
hands still, crimson robes draped around His bearded face.
His smile and disappointed eyes,
a long dead brother hanging on the wall.

I sink slowly, my portrait sliding down the plaster,
scraping off the paint.

I’m drowning, brother!
“Lord Save Me.”

Instead you swung, My Brother, you seized my place.
If you care to cross the wood, 
take another stroke,
build yourself a frame
of  the finest redwood.

Drive to the lumberyard, gather long-grain with scratches from navel to nose.
Glue it with the paper mache my mother used to boil on the kitchen stove.
Carve it with my family’s old Cutco knives,
but hold the handles carefully,
the blades are might cut your palms.

Climb into this frame, your coffin,
you will be accompanied by seven more.

My living room will be a crypt,
and none will rise.

sariah bunker

Sariah Bunker is a sophomore at NYU who is in a constant existential crisis. She’s just trying to pay the bills, travel when she can, and organize her frazzled, spinning consciousness.

A Café in Rostand, Paris

A Café in Rostand, Paris