You say there is nothing as beautiful as the dry cracking,
the callus of a hard day’s work. My hands speak back through
creases, the folds you bury your face in. Every sound
pressuring flesh like a magnet, breaking skin, snapping
a rib that no longer carries current. I dive to
beat myself at the bottom. I comb
my hair strands with useful fingers. Anguilliform means
resembling an eel— nothing beautiful—
this slimy new ocean, this dark fertile magic, the scaleless serpent
air is all wrong here.
Caroline Chavatel is a M.F.A. candidate at New Mexico State University where she is Assistant Poetry Editor at Puerto del Sol and co-founded Madhouse Press. Her work has appeared or will appear in The Cossack Review (2016 October Prize for Poetry winner), phoebe (2017 Greg Grummer Poetry Award finalist), Gulf Coast, Fugue, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Nimrod, and Epoch, among others. She currently lives in Las Cruces, NM.