Every Cage Still Has me by Lake Vargas

In the bathtub last night,
I thought of how you were

warm last winter. The heater
plinking to life sounded like

mice clattering in their traps,
their pitchforked claws mowing

at glue. I bet that in the fleece
descending over your shoulders,

you didn’t see my gnarled face,
my knotted hands hovering

above my abdomen. I guess
you didn’t think of what I could

bear for you. The water laced
each strand of my hair before

its congregation in the drain.
It’s paranoid but everything

sounds of mice, like the creak
of the faucet as I freeze steam.

I stopped scrubbing at the mirror
in the hopes of finding whatever

lives underneath. She’s the same
beast you caught just before autumn.


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