Elegy with Forceps

Amanda Gaines

Once, the sky was scrubbed blue & you
carved a hole deep enough to hold
my ankles in. Back then, cherry blossoms
just everywhere. Flycatchers scissor-tailing
the glass of black rivers. Us, untangling
on a floor-bound bed, the sun rising
in dust. Now,
I’m interested in things I can fix
in one day. Peeling wallpaper. Smoothing over
scuffed floors. Chipped purple nailpolish.
I take notes. Refer to the proper charts.
Indicate need even when I don’t need
to. Fearlessness becomes fuschia-bright.
A firework that doesn’t burn through your hands.
A good bad kiss that opens your throat & rings
metallic. Here,
there are no broken hearts.
Someday, maybe sutures. Maybe
our ribs, reeled open with ivy. There’s a galley
full of blue squirrels and bumblebees, glitter
pouring from new wounds. Lilac boughs
spun from sugar. Anaesthetics wrapped
in thin silver paper.
I want to feel everything.
AMANDA GAINES is a Ph.D. candidate in CNF in OSU’s creative writing program. She is the nonfiction editor of Into the Void. Her poetry and nonfiction are published or awaiting publication in The Oyez Review, Gravel, Typehouse, Pithead Chapel, The Citron Review, Yemassee, Redivider, New Orleans Review, Southeast Review, The Southern Review, Juked, Sweet, and Ninth Letter.