Caroline Kessler

The gin-rimmed glass                  squatting beside the bed

pie plates, crusted with age;                 huddled near the door

the soles of my feet;                 brown as bread from

miles of walking;                 every night, getting here

my heart in my hand;                 we edge toward the door

all my voices and me;                 insanity and her sister

distant as stars;                 singing to my inner ear

hardwood creaks a protest;                 it doesn’t matter what time

I disappear, unblinking;                 always the sun or moon notices

first, I slip my bad face on;                 tie this weed of hair into a knot

then re-hook my bra;                 button the eyes of my dress

rub my teeth with one finger;                 dampen the flowers with spit

imagine what I will say;                 when I return

if I return;                       my back bright with dawn’s glow

Caroline Kessler, originally from Baltimore, is pursuing a degree in creative writing and a minor in religious studies at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Her poetry and prose has been published in The Susquehanna Review, New Voices, PresenTense, Dossier, and Grub Street.

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