Poem of the Month
Shape

By Carolyn Marie Souaid

Published on February 1, 2016

My ex keeps asking do I want the cat back,
but my place is a wall short
and where pray tell to put the litter box?

Gets me asking other questions—
Where in the dryer does the missing sock go?
And to be dead, what’s it like? Actually.

Now that I’m fifty, things don’t fit so well.
My clothes, for instance.

But I’m comfortable alone
with the cold-shot chrysanthemums,
picturing myself at the bottom
of the food chain,
countless nautical miles from consciousness,

a sponge in the ancient sea
or a hairy primordial cell. Of course,
there aren’t the familiar reference points.
No cities accessorized with cars.
Here, it’s just me—
in a different kind of overcoat,

brainlessly adrift in the mud-filled swamp.
Algae unaware of love or loss,
words that catch in the back of the throat,

only the pulsing yes/no of being here for a time,
and then not.

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