What Blades Beneath It

If bone can be made into buttons, maybe you could
call me sometime? Remind me that you’re still a thing with hands
& a mouth, that were never mine but sort of
held close enough by years and sinew
that I couldn’t look at any sun-bleached
day without wondering what blades beneath
it might harm you and how—it went on like that even
after, even now. Tell me you’re still sowing snow like seed,
wondering if it’ll sprout into a new nervous
system. Magnolia eyes, my little malachite
mouth, let me reassure you: it won’t. That’s time
better spent lifting your chin toward
the nearest sun. Outside my head, boys fill tin cups
with oil and down them like salvation. My life flickers
in and out like a television between channels. I’m kissing
someone kinder now, less gentle. Fewer wolves call
each other in the the body’s stonewashed night. I certainly
chose him but sometimes I don’t know how he got here.
You’re both so not each other that everyone's a stranger.
Whose dog is this? Whose shoes am I in? What mother
bought us these high thread count sheets and raised
this person beside me smelling of castile soap
and sweat? Each version of my life underwhelms
and swells in its own right. I shake my shoulders. I tell
myself, if you spend so much time in how it once was,
you won’t be here at all. Imagine a silver balloon
disappearing into a cathedral of clouds. I’m laughing
because I’m both what’s going, gone and what let it go.

Caitlin Scarano.jpg

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