By Makenna Webb

Her fingernails were already dead
yellow, long, and cracking
before her soul left the hospital bed.
I remember asking,

“Let me paint them,”

the way we painted on the floor
with crayons and markers
filling pages with folklore
as the sky grew darker.

My eyes fixated on the pale skin
clinging to her hands,
its wrinkles formed into a grin.
But her lips were sand.

The next time I saw her
was in a picture frame
settled on the altar.
She didn’t look the same.

No one had painted her nails.

by Bill Dornbach