I had lost all sense of rhythm, what was
countable and not. All my buildings
were small, all the bodies I could stitch
together would be made from snake
scales one-by-one. There is a weight
and it hangs from some necks heavier.
I had no good faith, just bad algebra
and shoddy understanding of architecture.
There is a museum of dead animals
called the heart. There is a chorus
of flaming ghosts still singing at the end
of each aria. Small archives of what
can be hung from what: fire, stocking,
cast iron, hook. I woke and believed
the second story higher up,
somehow, the tops of houses risen
tall on skinny legs. If there were witches,
I'd count my blessings on shed hairs,
cast-off skins. I'd ask for a body
that had forgetting built in. The question:
whether the monster's skin remembers
being touched on its old limbs.
Stephanie Cawley is from southern New Jersey. She currently lives in Pittsburgh where she is an MFA student at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a poetry reader for The Literary Review, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Prelude, Phantom Books, The Collagist, Linebreak, and elsewhere.