Two Poems by Quinn Boudreaux

Quinn Boudreaux

Because It Is Better to Burn

My mother scolds me for wearing hoodies in the Louisiana heat. I assure her the heat doesn’t bother me, but every complaint and red face melts this excuse until it drips off my fingers; plop, plop, plop. Some days I can stand to look at myself in the mirror and ignore the way my body contorts and mutates yet never takes the shape I want it to. Some days the lines stay the same. But most days are not those days, so I pull on my hoodie and cover the shirt I used to love but is now too tight, impossibly form-fitting with a neckline that shows the chest I wish I didn’t have. I watch with satisfaction as every trace of the body I could never learn to live in disappears beneath it. I will let its heat drown me until I can’t stand it, and then I’ll tug up the sleeves.


The streets of the city echoed the lives of everyone in it. Some days you’d walk down the street to the beat of laughter, others, only your footsteps reverberated back to you. Occasionally, whispered confessions were carried by the wind. (“I’ve loved you since we were children,” “Some days I worry that I am not capable of existing in any sort of meaningful way.”) 

People’s lives were the beating heart of the city, and though you enjoyed the glimpses into other’s lives and the drama of a repeated argument, you were happy to stay on the listening end. For as long as you’d been living in this city, you’d somehow managed to avoid being echoed aside from the occasional footstep.

But all things must come to an end, and one day the whispering of your name is followed by an eerie silence.