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Caitlin Scarano

black hole in a jar

grow me more
teeth this doll was made
with a mouth that doesn't open
though the girl presses
a plastic bottle
hard to its face
this child who wants
a child my mother hallowed
searching a garden for her
lost engagement diamond
the black hole marriage
the field from which nothing
can escape not even light
even in death my father
reigns her father reigns
no. night
grow me more teeth
more tongue she got out
through a crack
beneath the door
she got out from the radiator
vent where her father
caged her in my dreams
there is a daughter every
opening in her a black hole
my niece drags her dolls
by their wrists across
the kitchen floor she is
not a garden not a test
not a metaphor she is lucky
to be alive after her father
choked my sister on a mattress
when she was pregnant
she barely got out
but she got out
as children we caught
fireflies in a jar
which smelled both stale
and sweet in the morning
after they'd died my mother
dumped them in the grass
said this is not a lesson

paw of the bear

we stand in blue snow  unsure of where to go the forest

forks our lives  fork

who is the oil who is  the water I drank and drank of you

but this thirst never ends  the lamb in the boy the poisoned

well the devil who lived  downhill from us

whispering in your open ear  fear love

night closes around us like a book  both of us are done

with bleeding  both of us

can know each other no longer  why couldn't you

ever be my home why couldn't you listen  hear the way the owl's cry

sounded like an infant the way your mother  would touch her throat

when she laughed  am I the same as any woman

that wanted you  another name in a bottle

you threw into the silted river  was I the only one who hoped

for sons a crib under a glowing window  the dog you named

by our bed will  a love for winter  will me into a different

kind of girl bridled broken her smile  teethless less seething

less the stove you burnt your hand upon over and  over

the princess with eyes like vacant rooms  do not blame me

because you fell  for the witch instead

Caitlin Scarano
is a poet in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee PhD creative writing program. She was the winner of the 2015 Indiana Review Poetry Prize. Her poem, "Mule" was selected for the Best New Poet 2016 anthology. Her debut collection of poems will be released in Fall 2017 by Write Bloody Publishing.