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 author of biography of water, The Land Is a Painted Thing, and several chapbooks from dancing girl press. Her third book, Lost Letters and Other Animals,will be published by Black Lawrence Press in early 2021. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Boston ReviewCaketrainDenver Quarterly, and jubilat. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently teaches writing at Boston University. She lives with her husband and daughter in Somerville, MA.

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