The 2River View 16.4 (Summer 2012)

Carrie Causey

Girl Playing Dead

Young again, the throat painted with one dry coat,
at the balcony with a conch shell, nakedly,
through the house upstairs, to behold her
or to have her gallop again as she used to
at all angles. To have her get up and walk!
Warmth without heat, piercing at the ends
under the carpet, the light on me a kindness.
What was she? Now cool as the cat’s head
lying in the carpet, on my back, they will ask,
Oh my children! when they find my body
cut with softness and spears and knots,
for my mourners, for my little ones, this thing
held loose in my palm is an heirloom,
Mom’s tomato pin cushion through one hand
(skin you can shine a flashlight through)
and the heart beating, and the lizard’s skin.
I have to roll my jaunty skeleton in dust
just to play dead.

One Dream of Purgatory

After you die,
you have not gone far enough.
Each time you try to rip down
the curtain, it will not
pull free,
god knows where
to the top of an egg-like dome, some crown
of the fabric you lean against now,
arms crossed
at your chest.
Others, passing by, say:
you take yourself
way    too   seriously.
Haven’t you tried flying?
Or haunting an ex?
Try taking four steps
in a dark room
and see if the form of skin
does not unfasten. 
like flashlight light.
This is the only way
to get to the other side,
The way sperm
the way the change machine
only takes
clean dollar bills.
they tell you,
waving between the veil.
Think magician, sleight.    
Think ghost.

Carrie Causey holds an MFA from Vanderbilt University. Her work has appeared in Everyday Genius, Ploughshares, Plume, and Sycamore Review. Ear to the Wall is forthcoming from Ampersand Books. contact