All I See When I Close My Eyes
Like the sun, too much
to look at directly.
My skin covered in glass,
sharp and sparkling.
A rending flash of light,
my hips pulled from place.
You, suddenly small.
You, shimmering silver.
Dragged and spun invisible.
He said he did not see us.
Even afterward, when
our heads ached
their way back onto
our twisted shoulders,
he could not
Too lonely, too bright.
Good girls say thank you, say please, say excuse me.
We’re not good, and I don’t know, maybe not girls.
We say enough. We say boundaries. We say stop.
The consequence for this defiance is violence.
Like so many before me, my head is mounted
on the wall: tongue soft, jaw slack. Blood
pools beneath, stains the carpet. A warning
for others who would transgress. This house
is not, and never will be, a home. In this house
the body is only a memory. A ghost. It is buried
out in the yard, behind the orange tree.
You can smell the rot before it blossoms.
In dreams we have all our breath. We are whole,
and hungry, and screaming.
Catherine Garbinsky is a writer living in Knoxville, Tennessee. They hold a degree in The Poetics of Transformation: Creative Writing, Religion, and Social Justice from the University of Redlands and is currently studying for her MFA in Poetry at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Catherine’s poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. They serve as Assistant Poetry Editor for Homology Lit and Grist.
Catherine is the author of All Spells Are Strong Here (Ghost City Press, 2018) and Even Curses End (Animal Heart Press, 2019), and has also been featured in RECLAIM: An Anthology of Women’s Poetry, and Coffin Bell Journal’s Anthology.
Uncovered logs from the distant past and the future beyond.