There’s a string of bells in my brain. They hurt me
like a child. Like a child I sleep
uninvited under the big white quilt on your couch.
I sleep like a swan twisting under a lash
of snow. Things get so messy
in my mind. In the morning I should go and I should
take my raincoat with me.
The castle on the hill blurs in the mist, and the lamps
spill onto the lawn.
Outside your house I step in a puddle
shaped like a star. I smash open the water
with my boot and send a small wave
into the street. I am that sorry.
Admit you despise me, despise
my body. It glows like the river, it rises
up in your dreams, it is everything
you walked away from. You think you are the monastery,
the tall mountain from my which my nerves
dangle, a string of bells to be cut clean,
waiting for the final song
to fall out. But I am tired of worshipping
your absence. Many things will kill us
in this life, why shouldn’t desire
get first dibs.
CATHERINE POND is a PhD candidate at the University of Southern California. In 2017, her manuscript was the runner-up for the BOA Editions First Book prize. Her work has appeared in such journals as Boston Review, Rattle, and Salmagundi.