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The Patricia and Emmett Robinson Prize

Derek Berry
Charleston, SC

Not Another Teen Ghost Story: List

Not Another Teen Ghost Story: Libretto for Film Remak

Fade in from black:

I am late to your funeral.

In the passenger seat, I lift a bottle,

& here spirits mean both the way

my blood dances at the sound of your name & the clear prayer I swallow.

Flashback scene: sync up the music—summer jam,

untidy veins, blood alive with anything

other than blood. We are so high, everything we say is gospel.

Cue montage:

Outside the library, I dart across the parking lot,

hide in my car from the rain.

Acid rain, burning through the glass.

Took too much acid & you

found me squirming in the passenger seat,

took me to your house, a trailer

you shared with your sisters, a single

blanket separating bedrooms.

There you kept me safe from my own brain.

There are moments in this film

that only make sense when the credits roll.

Last scene:

Somewhere, a song.

Somewhere, a shotgun.

Somehow, a cliché in the making.

Blockbuster death trope—suicide statistic.

Mud tongue turns blue.

The boy becomes a body,

burdened with the same old rural sadness.

This ending is only a surprise before we read the ending.

Not Another Teen Ghost Story: Text
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