In my sleep, my throat was cut again,
in that sleep my skin was whiter
than our walls, when in waking
it is more red, a constant blush
of shame. When I woke
it was to my daughter’s cries.
She has words now. Spaced throughout
the screams is the name she calls me,
yet I send her father in. She will let him leave,
but from me she only wants more.
even though my breasts are poor
pillows, my ribs a hard mattress, she finds
peace there, my knife elbow pointed out.
When I close my eyes again, my throat is
slit, and I wake to the sound of my husband’s
heavy breath, to the sound of the wind
around our house, the Japanese Maple
clawing the siding with untrimmed branches.
Caitlin Elizabeth Thomson is preoccupied with absence. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals including: Tar River Poetry Review, Literary Mama, Adroit Journal, and Foilet & Wing. You can learn more about her writing at www.caitlinthomson.com.