Star in the Throat, Fire in the Cupboard

When I was young, I hid under the porch with a star in my throat.
When I got a little older, my mother opened the cupboard to let the fire out. 

I should’ve known the cliffs meant a coming blankness.
We should’ve noticed the competition growing deadly between the masts and the trees.
The problem wasn’t the lateness of our parties
but what we used for wood to keep them lit.

What is it people say—take my arm and walk with me along the shore for a minute? 

My mother, bless her, is a speck of color in the flush of a great cheek. 
I’ve come to ask you to consider praying for that giant child. 
Remember when we began to forget the babies once we tossed them in the air?
First it was the completion of those simple gestures, but then entire sections of the story
went missing. In our lips we could feel the slight buzz
of the edge where the cut was made.  We crawled in and out of those holes 
wearing different faces. 

I believe the stories got wet and began to bleed together. 
I believe we built the sides of the town too high and the events kept rolling back. 
I didn’t know that the water was going to keep rising as well, 
but if you have any say in the matter, while the boats go down,
I’d like to be on a ladder,
peeking into a loft made narcotic with children, 
a dead pool with rolling, living waves. If possible, 
I’d like the water to douse the match that’s growing out of the bones of my hand. 

Copyright © 2014 by Catie Rosemurgy. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on April 30, 2014.