With a line borrowed from “Thinking about Death” by John Koethe.
I can’t pretend to find the right emotion; I’m no actress. That’s why they hired you.
Small smile here, please. Pucker your lips, just a little. Eyebrows up. There. Pleasantly surprised. Now hold it. I’ll help.
There is humor in the death of a fly at a spider’s hand, and now your face knows it. Amusing, to have lived a short life and died a long death.
There is sadness in the celebration of a birthday, and now your face knows it. Depressing, that experience is only a byproduct of life.
There is brevity in the permanence of death, and now your face knows it. Comforting, that you need only be remembered for so long.
Anishi Patel is a young writer from the Bay Area. She edits for the Siblini Journal and her school’s literary magazine, Soundings. When she’s not at speech and debate practice or writing newspaper stories, Anishi enjoys taking long drives with Herbie, her orange Jeep Wrangler and drinking macchiatos, the Peet’s kind.