Dead Girl

illustration for Dead Girl
image of Dead Girl by Anna Laura Falvey
image of Dead Girl by Anna Laura Falvey

This afternoon you said to your roommate,
“I think I could be a corpse. One of

the ones in the Brit mysteries where
you get to be a bitch in the first like

three scenes, or be the tragically fated
lover you’re super bummed about

because you kind of know from the get
that she’s gonna get strangled.” And then,

you know, they’re dead and they’ve got
that Dead Girl Look with the parted lips

and the big eyes and makeup dept. did
their skin like spirits are swimming

in their shallows, and they’re still like,
weirdhot, and like very obviously alive

because right, they’re actors,
but their hair is streaming out

in soft Ophelian silk and maybe
it would be peaceful to lie

down in that water and let
the stream flow smooth your

skin like a worrystone
in the palm of the brook.

Sometimes, when you’re in
the bath or a pool or something

you see your hand floating out
in front of you of its own accord,

your muscles accidentally still,
of course they tense as soon as

you notice this, for that breath
you are the girl in the water,

Ophelia in an infinite and insufferable
line of Ophelias, nothing. You believe

that if you lie on the riverbank,
loose flowers will tangle your hair

like spilt watercolor, your eyes will glass
over in that still, still Dead Girl Look.

Anna Laura Falvey (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based poet and theater artist. She holds degrees from Bard College in Classics and Written Arts with specialization in ancient poetry and tragedy. Anna Laura is currently serving as an ArtistYear Senior Fellow and resident teaching artist, teaching poetry in Queens, NY. Her written work is forthcoming in Club Plum, and has appeared in Icarus Magazine, issues 15, 16, 17, & 18 of Deep Overstock, Ouch! Collective, Caustic Frolic, and has been featured on the Deep Overstock podcast.