I vanish off the highway into golden
with all my poppy-neck. I take summer raw
down the halls of academics and unplug wild grass.
I bend down at every fallen tree and watch men
build thirty-five-foot fog with missing boats. I didn’t
always fly over someone else’s city and lose it all.
I didn’t always wait hours for turbulence to come.
If I know nothing in an empty room, six types of screwdrivers.
I remember myself in parts. November
morning without snow. Dusty footprints,
no brakes. I remember nothing. Why should I tell you
every little thing. There should be music, jumbo universe,
a desperate tongue, more banging inside. My heart
in the magazine, it says I ran through the train. Ask
the animals. This is my heart at the table, this is the night sky
making no sense. I was covered in blisters. I burnt with a soft voice.
Let me up. Did you hear me? I said my body, it was covered in blisters,
my body at the top of the river watching, my body a river knocking
over plates, my body a spine eating by itself. When I start with mirrors,
I end with dark room. She said, you’re starting to look fragile, in between
how do we measure broken limb box and children playing with bees, that’s when
I started walking around like lilacs glazed over, just like egg yolks over
countertop sound, like some bouquet of wreck, this is where I ran away
in my mind. How I’d go over plastic wolves, paper feeling, all the pity
inside. I’d go over this place like a scratched door locked in its jaw. My body
in its own mouth, so then my heart asking for skin; I became this place of unknown
shore, a cleft of the rock. I talk to my heart just like nine volt dirt, you see my heart
like little foxes on a footstool, here is where I tell you every
Sarah Bates is a Creative Writing MFA candidate at Northern Michigan University, where she is also an associate editor for the literary journal Passages North. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Literary Review, BOAAT, Washington Square Review, The Normal School, First Class Lit, and Pacifica, among others.