the other world rewards me
as a photograph,
shapes and colors
the remnants of their explosion
out of context
there was a flock of starlings,
I could not tell you anymore,
not even if the creatures,
surrounded me again, here,
I would only see a monochrome
grouping, I would only see
what more could you see
when one of us breaks
or cloaks herself in new silks?
the great changeover armed itself
in nothing but the delusion
that you were always master
and these are all your tools
I see myself at your side, eye
-to-eye, inside which is still a tincture
of the time before you and I
in my eye too
was the house, the glorious
overthrow of the ledger
the markings of our losses
I never saw
the inside but as spectator
I knew, with all the windows
leading to all the rooms
that I could house them together
there were no padlocks
here nor a single car
not a telephone wire, a time
or a name or a face misplaced.
Poetic Statement: Let me mourn. Let me dream. Let me see you not as how you present yourself to be but how I envisage. Let me write my story, let me turn the pages, let me bridge subject and object with my own brand of ink. It isn’t white ink, ink of life, the glorified rape of the canon, sowing its seed in anyone’s lap. It’s the red ink, the ink that transcends the permanence of the whole thing and rewrites, retells, the nagging voice in the background your history sought to cut out. It’s the ink that seeks not to hide glitches but to bring them to the center light.
Bio: Stephanie Kaylor is based in upstate New York where she is completing a MA in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies. She is also a current MA student at European Graduate school, concentrating in narrative structure and desire. Though her musings are not political in content, she is an ardent supporter of activist causes, including sex workers’ rights and prison abolition.
On Being An Angel
“Be wary.” Your fears I read like braille, goose bump code on a body I knew long before I first reached yours. Even the endless may have a beginning, a split second we will never understand. Where then would you hide?
Where are the black crows tonight, the broken glass, the omens? I blink once to clear my eyes.
Thermoluminescence dating, the determination of the time elapsed since a material last saw the sun; how I know I love you, the moonlight bather who will not pose as savior in my battle scene or his own.
(though I had the dream again last night, the house was burning brightly, the dinner party uninterrupted as the butler fanned the flames. I was the only one who ran out and you held me back as I stood naked on the warehouse roof, from a salted sea breeze beckoning me to fly).
He said there would be something else, some whiskey-breathed revelation. I like him like this, when he doesn’t say a word and I can fall into the soft-lipped void, and I fall proudly in the new fragility he has helped me craft to help me break.
The 2:58 am clawing of a telephone like a strangers back, like complacency when the double speaks to herself and I, the total I, the unsure shape shifter. My inner lives crave completion: my searching a transfixation; my avoidance, divination. I know why the telephone does not ring.
I will borrow his utensils. The teeth, the feet, the words collected like medallions. They will be dirtied by my touch but I shall cleanse them with the same.
(was I ever in your words? Was I a ghost, a spool of yarn unraveled, a baby’s skull?)
I am not frightened of the things you say but the things that shrivel before they reach your tongue, how they coexist.