of where it comes from
not where it is going. I’ve never lived
by water until this. I grew up between dairy
fields and oak-pine forests. Sisters
hiding behind a crushed
velvet window curtain. Girl,
static, ghost. There was a clock
high on the wall in the living
room. One night, I swear, the sound
grew so loud. My blood’s ticked ever
since. Travel far from where they raised you
and your blood will still burn.
In a dream, the lower half of my body
is buried in snow. The rest scatters
for sky. Along the river, a conspiracy
of crows take up for a white pine. A bevy
of swans follow. The contrast is too much
for the field to contain. Someone asked me
my greatest subject. Shame, I said
without thinking. My lover keeps a folding
knife in the bottom drawer of his dresser.
I like to take it
out when he isn’t here. Dig little
notches into the back of our headboard
with the tip. One for every secret
we or the water withhold.
Caitlin Scarano is a writer based in northwest Washington. She holds a PhD in English (creative writing) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MFA in Poetry from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She was selected as a participant in the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists & Writers Program and spent November 2018 in McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Her debut collection of poems, Do Not Bring Him Water, was released in Fall 2017. Her work has appeared in Granta, Carve, Colorado Review, and Poetry Northwest.