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This author is a recipient

of the Sigma Tau Delta Award

Sigma Tau Delta Awarde

Lexi Birks

is the author of Diary of Her Disappearance (2015) and Elimination (2016), along with shorter works of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. She is a senior at St. Ambrose University, earning a BA in English and a minor in Art. You can visit authorlexibirks on Facebook for updates on her latest work.

There it was. It was back.

It always came back, feathering

into her thoughts, intertwining

its dark tendrils with her memories.

Tears spilled down

like shards of glass, carving

rivers of salt until

her cheeks were stripped of youth.

There’s no stopping it,

her mother said, waving the cigarette in her hand.

Drugs, therapy, alcohol, nothing…

Nothing will stop it from killing you.

To her, cancer was a rainbow,

a glimmer of hope as

a means to an end

for a life unwanted.

Her mother was right.

Cancer wasn’t the only disease

that could steal the breath from your lungs

and leave you gasping for air.

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