Anne Champion

Triggered Memories: Grief

When I was 15, the most beautiful boy in the world
came to my window, throwing pebbles, asking me to come out.

He’d tell me he saw what I was doing at night, peeping.
After I kissed him, he told me he lost his virginity

breaking into a girl’s house, raping her, stealing all her music.
I thought it was a joke. His eyes begged for something.

He said, I hope I never hurt you, as if he begged himself.
He said his father was the worst person in the world:

he was named after him. His cousin said he was gay.
He didn’t touch me like he was. His best friend accused him

of coming onto him. Then he killed himself. I wanted to crawl
into the casket with his corpse. The last I saw him,

he held me, told me I could be something someday.
He kissed my forehead. Then he took all the music away.

Anne Champion is the author of She Saints & Holy Profanities (Quarterly West, 2019), The Good Girl is Always a Ghost (Black Lawrence Press, 2018), Book of Levitations (Trembling Pillow Press, 2019), Reluctant Mistress (Gold Wake Press, 2013), and The Dark Length Home (Noctuary Press, 2017). Her work appears in Verse Daily, diode, Tupelo Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard Review, Salamander, New South, Redivider, PANK Magazine, and elsewhere.  She was a 2009 Academy of American Poets Prize recipient, a 2016 Best of the Net winner, and a Barbara Deming Memorial Grant recipient. She received her MFA in poetry from Emerson College.