Poetry from Karly Jacklin

Photo: Lena White


I wake up alone in it:

It, the heirloom gleam of misery. Inherited, like this feeling was something
locked in my grandmother’s chest until January.
Until “mother meet ground.” Mother me, ground. 

And I don’t ask for this sequence—nobody ever does—but every day, it follows suit.
Either new life is spilled out of a womb, or at last, a rotten body sucks in its final swarming breath,

Oh God,
we were given such a shitty story.

But here, I’m telling you this: I can pick out the good parts. Or change them entirely,
because in the end, we grow out of the things
we thought we would have forever: allergies, baby curls,            each other.

And before I tell you that our love, if that is the name we give this, has found its place to die, or worse,
that it’s near it, I would tell you that I’ve never seen you looking so beautiful
(all loose tits and blurred edge, I could have eaten all of you).

But that would be a lie
because I have seen you like this:

You leaving. You returning. Every toothless gap between the two.
I have always seen you like this:

The woman is made snake or salt or gold, the woman is always made,
face and shape and figure repeating.

And even then I’d give anything to feel like you. To look in the mirror to see you, to be you,
to part your lips like bloody linen and climb inside your throat, I’d pick each capillary like I was a locksmith.

But this is my body. What a shame.
I’m in my body.

I’m sorry. I can stop myself now. I’ll leave this part out like I meant to,
and you and I can unzip the sun. Bleach our skeletons, breathe fire.

We could burn to death.




Karly Jacklin is a poet and Ohioan currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in both creative writing and education at the University of Maine at Farmington. Her work has appeared in the Pacific Review, the River, Ripple Zine, and elsewhere.

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