Marty Cain

Candles can be so contrived, you say,

unclasping your bra, tossing it

like a candy wrapper over your shoulder.

You may be right. I look out

the window to falling snow,

river blending with winter sky. We drove

to this remote cabin to spend our last

days, I taking pictures with my Polaroid

mind, clicking each flake,

snapping shots of afternoon light.

I clip them to the clothesline in my mental

basement, expecting results,

but they develop slowly.

Against the humming dryer, I dream

your severed hand hides

in my shirt wherever I go, touching

hairs on the back of my neck.

We speak of various ways to die.

I fear death by fire, charcoal skin peeling away.

You talk of drowning in freezing water,

wondering why Creation had such low

thickness standards for ice.

In the morning the fire has burned out,

& we see our breath as we make love.

I don't believe in deities. I believe in moments

of shallow respiration, hands pinned to sheets,

red locks spread on the pillow.

Within the smallest second, I think death may

be a willful loss of control,

an orgasm leaving us

limp, panting silhouettes,

yearning to echo each other's canvases.

When we bring in firewood, a flattened mouse

falls from beneath a log, & you fling

it by its tail into the woodstove.

You shake your head in wonder as its

flesh & fur blacken. Spots

of skin disintegrate, carbon blooms across its ribs.

We meet eyes as the stench swells through the cabin.

Marty Cain grew up in Marlboro, Vermont, and is an undergraduate at Hamilton College, majoring in creative writing and video. His work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Softblow, Welter, Breadcrumb Scabs, and This Zine Will Change Your Life. He can be found online at

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