The Changing Coat
When I wake up, heart up my throat, a fear taste— getting ready for the changing skin. Your hat on the knob of the banister, tilted. You ask, why are you holding up your head with your hand? I'm tired, stripped down, maybe I passed one of my deaths getting ready for the changing skin. Sometimes, love, I can be your sister, dead, come to you in her changing skin—tortoise shell eyes, through gravel and moss. And you can be my brother, dead, saying: I never meant to hurt anyone. We are looking across the table. It's a field, long, spread out, pale, the ground's icy. We're wearing our new coats and we've passed one or more of our deaths along the way. There's no afterlife, it's the same, the same life, and when we remember that we pull close our changing coats, we tilt toward each other, the ground is softer than I thought, our foreheads touch.
Copyright © 2008 by Anne Marie Macari. Reprinted from She Heads into the Wilderness with the permission of Autumn House Press.