The Difference Between Our Gardens
I saw myself once
so far inside, mouse in the attic
behind my eye. All the house plants
howling, the mirrors
on loop. Outside,
the first big leaf maple leaf
fell and then the whole forest came down,
the walls of the world. I mean
I once loved someone
who only spoke of what was on fire
inside them. My mother trained
morning glory to climb an arbor
my father built for her. Two decades later, I tend
a failed garden, wrench bindweed
from what it chokes. She sits in a chair.
My father, once a stranger, is a dead
stranger. This morning,
I ate two eggs. You would have been
so proud of me.
Detached from context, deer spine you find
engulfed in bodilessness. That night, a sky veined
with unresolved stars. They throb and a future
sickness nags at you, a honey locust
thorn in your side. Ulcers blossom in your intestine
like needy purple mouths. Abuse begets abuse, the unwell
begat the unwell. Grief like ribbons in a girl’s hair, her teeth
catching the sun. You bend over his grave
as if it’s a mixing bowl, as if he is a task you have
to complete. Another day of rain opens like a sinkhole.
You cut off your hair. It hisses when you toss it
into the wood stove; your lover watches
from a chosen distance. How much can his blood
dilute? You dream in organs. Egg lump on the breast,
copper in the brain, knot in your throat. All this talk
of children, you’d rather speak of snakes. You’d
rather spit it out and offend than choke
on the offer.
Caitlin Scarano is a writer based in Anacortes, Washington. She holds a PhD in English an MFA in Poetry. Her hybrid chapbook The Hatchet and the Hammer was recently released by Ricochet Editions. Her debut collection of poems is Do Not Bring Him Water. Her work has appeared in Granta, Entropy, Carve, and Colorado Review. You can find her at caitlinscarano.com.