Two Poems

Sarah Matthes






Here I am

in someone else’s bad dream.


Metal spheres roll through the grass,

grow larger, pull iron from the rock

and from the blood.


The wind takes what from me?

No matter. That was never mine


There is



When I awake the field is made of faces.

Can you remember anything?




Though how to put it.


What do you want to know?


The facts? — The feelings?

That I was there? — That I was crying?

I held a vase. I held an urn.

I was a flower. I was what burned.


If I don’t survive it, please

remember the

right things about me:


The time I was caught singing

among the violins.


Perhaps I lost my bow,

thought no one would notice the difference —



my voice came back

and so I used my voice.











Everyone keeps dying from nothing

To search their skin for green blood,

you’d find nothing


A thousand girls die each year

choking on cherry stems

they’re trying to tie into knots with their tongues


I comb my hair a hundred strokes

and wish my scalp was blue and beautiful


I dream when I dream

of my own thighs


Bare on a soundstage


Of eyes on them

The klieglights and the floodlights and

the spots


The warmth of all those lights and the eyes too


I wake up sweating and hips twice as wide

I decide between smoking and drinking and eating

Which are the three bright red leaves on my tree —


The beautiful ones, and the ones that are dying


Outside I hallucinate a group of girls

Pink and staggering


They clutch wrists as they walk

They form a machine

Delicate as a spider on stilts

I scream at the damp matches


They call me an addict, they laugh

I say fuck you I’ve seen the way you put on chapstick

They all turn white and reach for their chapsticks


When they let go of each other the machine breaks

Smoke pours from their mouths and they fall down


I know I’ve made so many many mistakes









SARAH MATTHES is a poet from central New Jersey. Her work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Prodigal, The Feminist Utopia Project, Girlblood Info, and elsewhere. She is a Michener Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin.