To Carrie Fisher— by Kim Malinowski

Were you all Princess Leia?
Was it really you in metal bikini
AND General’s uniform?
You knew my path—
I have wandered it seeing your carved initials,
as I am traipsing behind.

We both had our pills.
That yellow one, the two reds, that fucking Xanax
that falls into the passenger seat every Monday in traffic.
I don’t get to shove people that joke about first days, up, down, off
medications out of an airlock.
We both know that third days are a bitch.
You knew that with all those fuck yous and middle fingers.
Let the camera see fake strength, attitude,
hide the carrying-on strength.

I want to embrace the hydrosteel armor,
strap on my lightsaber but know to have a blaster at my side.
I want to sit with you on the Millennium Falcon.
Chat about our medications literally killing us—and us letting them.
We’d joke about Lithium, and that damned—blessed Xanax,
and still you died with medicated breath.
It happens.
It will happen to me.
Isn’t that what makes life pulse—all electricity crinkling spine
even when slugged on couch?

Metal bikinis avert eyes from eyes.
If I looked, right at that flash,
would those eyes be mine?
Would you know how my story ends?
Would you hum some space melody and wink?

Say—Kim, this is how it is.
We fucking live this shit.
And then we tell other people to live with this shit.
But we fucking show them how.

Kim Malinowski is a lover of words. Her poetry collection Home was published by Kelsay Books and her chapbook Death: A Love Story was published by Flutter Press. Her work has appeared in Mookychick, BLUEPEPPER, Illumen, Gone Lawn, Enchanted Conversation, Enchanted Living, and others. She writes because the alternative is unthinkable.