By Carol Matos


Watching a fawn arch its spine

and track its parents’ prints in near darkness,

a woman exaggerates her memories,

the cruelties that invade her sleep—

dark-blooded men throwing her

out of the sky, and she falls fast in the unreal,

the downward landscape revolving.

In the mornings, she rebels against fear

and picks squash blossoms from her garden.

She prefers lilies, but cats die after ingesting them.

Now she waits deep in the flux

of remaking herself on her unlit porch,

and like a pup coyote practicing a howl,

she vocalizes, I will close the gap

between truth and provable.

Startled by her cat’s leap

from the porch railing, she finds

purpose in the paw he licks clean,

in the lines separating each claw as dusk

reaches them and their fading edges disappear.