Natalie Crick

Two Poems

I See You

It has been a meatless season and
a muted harvest.
Dead fruit warps from the trees.
We watch it like something forbidden.

The bald mice I found
in the cellar this morning
linger like grease smears
even after Sister drew the dead things out.

Absence in this house is
curdled in sour milk.
I see you looming
when the moon is most pale

and fog lifts from the cornfield
with shallow breath.
You’re dark,
like a shadow on a lung.

You always call out
when you are near,
follow Sister around our bare house
running cold fingers along the kitchen counter,

dragging the night behind with your thin wrists
into the attic room, spreading your smell and
searching for children to cull
from their beds like weeds.

I remember when she and you
spent hours together in that beautiful, lonely
room before everything you touched
bled or grew strange.

Tonight thrushes are shuddering
into a sky heavy with rain
that will fall like bells
upon husks of wheat,

stirring the quiet hum of pollen.
God Himself must be
weeping up there in heaven
condemning us once again.

I see you looming, dark.
The room echoes into itself.
Sister hollows
like an old animal bone,

laces fingers over deep scars and
begins to clean the sink.
She lights a black candle on her tongue,
childhood closing around her face like a fist.


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