Mary Shelley

Stephanie Cawley

A glossy paragraph for names whispered in the dark.
Did you have anywhere you were hoping to travel?
A novel all scenes of sailboats, horseback, countryside
panorama. Seventeen names for what the mouth
does, all translating to open. Under throat, see sea-shells
spelled out to a coast. Under hold, see wide sky
where birds keep appearing. If you put a freckled
shoulder against your lips, don’t expect it to remember.
Down to the essentials of down parka, fur
boots, eggs white and cold. A novel all scenes
of unzippering. To do in the dark where birds
keep flocking: remember, let go, keep
from disappearing. Your tongue, in particular, stopped
a throat whistling, a kettle on the stove,
a letter home. Do you like, as I do, a camera with no
film, sky floating blue and glossy across a lens?
Scars are only so long unless scrubbed with lemon
and sugar. A panorama of sailboats, each
whispered name a horse in your mouth. I mean,
first I had to stop wanting to hold on
to everything. To stitch a scene with fenceposts,
white bones, gold zippers. Teeth
in a mouth, open like no answers, no questionable
temperatures. Shoulders, no no, no, etcetera.