i want to paint my skin with sun crack the day open so its easter egg guts spill out.
maybe then i can be illuminated. drag of knuckles across brick. say: here, like this. snap of rubberband against lambflesh of inner wrist. i am a difficult thing to love but i want you to try anyway. to be known is a risk i cannot afford. revenge fantasy pt. 1: to be holy, to be whole as a vessel. the mud of my viscera spooled so tight i no longer inhabit the space after deluge. revenge fantasy pt. 2: to be understood so completely i can shed the barbed wire borders of my body, the strangle of snakeskin silence for something else something new. i have outlived many incarnations but there is still always the tarred and feathered insistence of memory. the tally of leaving, the way my roommate couldn’t meet my eyes the end of freshman year as we stood barefoot in the parking lot.
i dreamed your hand brushed mine and our fingers laced like fishing net. i dreamed a woman slept and you sliced her face off. i want you to love me when i am tender and beaten bloody but i can’t bear to be tender.
i roll over. i play dead.
Caroline Shea was the Editor in Chief of the 2014 Kenyon Young Writers Workshop anthology, where her work was featured. Her poetry has also appeared in WOLVES Magazine, Yellow Chair Review, and Moonsick Magazine. She attends the University of Vermont where she avoids hypothermia, writes for The Vermont Cynic and is Co-Editor in Chief of the university’s literary magazine.