from “The Moan Wilds” 


Bend me into the light.

Ever watch me catch the sun, ribbon after ribbon after ribbon, spill into bed through a flung window. You hunting dog, bird dog. What happened while we were facing the mountain. Our shapeless dresses, our theories, champagne doing the solstice justice, ballooning against the backs of my knees, music floating down from where you, baby, know what is what. Unlike shit I usually bring to the table,

only exactly, and more than I know how to carry. I spill, then recognize where to put it down. Oyster, come and fizz. Glint, come and see. Hem gone raw, intentionally. Television flashing from the kitchen.

What a blessing the game is from the porch. I could ramble, I could

bitch. I could move the furniture.

Come and see, baby. Is experimental what you mean, because

what I mean is devotional. This nightgown can be mended, light can be soured, ass raised. What I like is translucent, you know it will dissolve, another shapeless thing. Slipping and slipping, pouring and pouring, throwing and throwing.

You fucking angel.

Welcome to yeast season, light blurring the quartz. Welcome to hell.

Have the azaleas opened to observe.

When the neighbor does, she does, playing music. I remember how to be gentle with my teeth. Otherwise, arching, cleaving.

Listen, baby. Listen, listen.     

Caroline Rayner is a writer and teacher from Virginia. She is the author of a chapbook, calorie world (Sad Spell, 2017). Her work can be found in b l u s h, KEITH LLC, jubilat, Peach Mag, Black Warrior Review, Shabby Doll House, and elsewhere. She currently lives in western Massachusetts.