My Body a Thing to Record

The tiny furniture expands in my stomach.

I set the timer to three months 

and gather as many words as I can. 

Tremor, guide. Sediment, surface. 

I build better now. 

Each shadow framed against the white wall. 

Like a sick animal I will crawl

into the closet when the time comes. 

Each week the new organ grows— 

more breath and waste inside. 

I bend on the table and spread my legs. 

The second body folded inside me

like a thin swan with long fingers. 

The smallest ultrasound inside each leaf. 

I give the neighbors my ferns. 

I can’t stand how much everything needs me. 

Though I ask for my dead cat back 

and all his loud wheezing down the stairs. 

This is my life and I can’t stop it. 

Like all the soft things inside my body.

Outside another life of wind and falling leaves. 

Nothing prepares me for crying in the car.

Because I never asked the questions 

but saved them inside my cheek. 

Because I never needed so much maintenance. 

That tree mocks the sun.

The sun mocks everything in the sky. 

I promise to every dividing cell 

to be anchored to this spot. 

Carrie Bennett is a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow and the author of biography of water, The Land Is a Painted Thing, and several chapbooks. Carrie’s poems have recently been published in Ghost Proposal, jubilat, Pangyrus, and South Dakota Review, Tinderbox, among others. Carrie is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and currently teaches writing at Boston University. Carrie lives in Somerville with her family where she can be found walking her Corgi and sitting in the sun.