Creative Writing Corner

By Katie Willingham

I know it’s impossible but I dreamt you came home for my birthday and I
blew out the candles, so maybe I’ll get
a second chance to
explain I never lied,
just thought it would always be ok to
go, fly south, gorged on birdsong
and I know it’s my fault you’re sick but
it wasn’t something I understood.
These days, I’m full of metal
and teeth so I repeat myself a lot
over the phone and sometimes in letters which I hope
you keep.And in my dream it was a swan,
your present,
whiteness broken by red ribbon and
she was still as I touched her neck
but she’s gone now,
hit by a motorcycle and he
cracked his skull so I guess we’re even. I shouldn’t have said that.

Things change come winter,
the white tub lavishes in the heat turned up full sucking wet air through red nostrils and I would have brought my
books in with me because
I’m not sure how to not talk and
stories are easier than skin
but you said closing the door, there
was only room for the two of us,
no space for what comes after and
when our lips meet I
imagine my tongue pushing
until I touch something that makes
you remember.

Because my ears still hum with
taped boxes and motor oil, I can’t help but look for you in the wrong places:
the swan, the shower-
you’re reading to me but the words
bleed and
I’m so far away the snow makes my
bones clatter.