by Abby Gemechu

Should I feel guilt for their bloodshed?

For the war they created at my feet,

placing my flowering image on a pedestal,

scrambling to defend me,

not realizing I was far removed 

from their petty conflict. 

Sometimes, I feel

like I should bear their deaths on my shoulders-

that I should hear their screams in my sleep,

my dreams scattered 

with their faceless, nameless bodies strewn 

across a battlefield in the middle of nowhere-

a battle created over my own profile,

which only has so much value, 

so much power,

because it is beautiful.

And yet, I feel nothing, 


sometimes, I wonder if I’m still beautiful-

if it is even possible for me

to be described as such a thing,

like I was before.

I’m not sure. 

Can something so guilty be beautiful?

Does the blood streaked across my face

soil my flowering image? 


How can I fall asleep without worrying

that their blood flows in my tears,

my eyes age with their stolen years?