For Maren By Elijah Noble El

For Maren

I didn’t know you, Maren. I didn’t know your voice.
All I know is how your Facebook stopped.
All I know is how the sirens rang.
I walked past your mother the other day and I
wanted to say something, anything.
I said nothing and kept my head down, kept my lip from quivering
for a girl I wasn’t blessed to know.
No one seems to have the right words when tragedy looms,
when the air leaves the room for a final time.

I want to know if there are heroes anymore.
We call all the wrong places home because no where
keeps a heart beating, a loved one in the right arms.
If I was there could I have helped you?
Could I have stilled that blade?
If I was there that Friday morning, if I had saw the look in his eyes,
could I have stopped those hands?

I didn’t know you so I couldn’t come to the funeral.
I didn’t know you, but I did pray for you.
That was the first time I’d prayed in years.
I forgot what it was like to pray, to believe in something.
But I do believe in peace and I believe in returning.
I know what I can say to your mother now.
I can say, “You’ll see her again one day.”
I can say, “You’ll hear her voice again.”
I can say, “She loves you.”

I walked past your mother the other day and I
wanted to say something, anything.
I said nothing and kept my head down.
I couldn’t keep my lip from quivering this time.
I couldn’t stop the tears from coming.
She saw me leaning against that wall and came over to me.
She pulled me into a hug and did for me what everyone
needed to do for her. I was just grateful she didn’t think
it was odd crying for someone I never knew.
She held me close and told me what happened to her the other night.
In your room under the dimming light
she spread your prom dress across your bed and stared at it for hours.
She recalled how beautiful and blue it was,
how when she went to bed that night
she dreamt about the blue of the sea,

about how the tide always returns.
She told me she doesn’t remember what it’s like being sixteen.
She told me she couldn’t stop thinking about time,
about grandchildren.
Her eyes watered but she wore a smile.
She talked about the day you were born.
“What a day that was,” she laughed. “What a day that was.”
Her eyes watered and I wished something could grow from it,
like a flower that held your scent,
or something that could bring you back.
I didn’t know her well enough to wipe her tears,
but I did speak to her.
I did speak to her, Maren.
With what I could muster I smiled and said,
“You’ll see her again one day.”
I said, “You’ll hear her voice again.”
I said, “She loves you.”

“She loves you.”

By Elijah Noble El


Elijah Noble El is the twenty-two year old author of The Age of Recovery (2015). His numerous honors include a nomination for Best Writing at the Top Indie Film Awards for the short film Dog-Faced Honey. His work has been featured in Literary Orphans, Words Dance Magazine, The Rising Phoenix Review, Straylight Magazine, Hooligan Magazine, Persephone’s Daughters, Kerosene Magazine’s CONTRA, Illumination, Exist Magazine, Soul Anatomy, The Odyssey, L’Éphémère Review, Erstwhile Magazine, and elsewhere. El is the co-founder of Girls Don’t Cry, the film division of the literary magazine Persephone’s Daughters, a magazine founded by Meggie Royer dedicated to empowering women who have experienced various forms of abuse and degradation.

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