Leveret at Laughing Jaw
In conversation with Megan Perra’s “Leveret at Laughing Jaw”
Mother made a nest in the dead
mouth of what almost killed her. She was resourceful
in that way, never wasted a sprig or a stone.
I was young, unsung, curled up
as the young often are. My sisters and I
planted a fringed tulip bulb in his eye
socket, long-since picked clean, and filled it
with loam. By spring, what sprouted had many fingers,
most of them accusing, some of them silent.
At night, my mind laid flat as a clearing and the hours
crept through like timid deer. When the moon
light hit them, their bodies twisted, turned
to half liquid, half smoke and suspended a few feet
above the earth—spiraling, morphing.
One night, one real night, I stood outside
my cabin and watched the aurora evolve and stretch
like taffy being spun. Foolish enough then
to think I knew her suffering or the type of woman
I would become—the damage my mouth,
in all its green, would wrought.
Caitlin Scarano is a poet based in northwest Washington. She holds a PhD in English (creative writing) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MFA in Poetry from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She was selected as a participant in the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists & Writers Program and spent November 2018 in McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Her debut collection of poems, Do Not Bring Him Water, was released in Fall 2017 by Write Bloody Publishing. You can find her at caitlinscarano.com