Because she was a showgirl (because first she considered his brother)

Because she wore a size one shoe, never bled, threw her hat back when her anger hadn’t
dissipated, may have slipped him a key in a glass of water or a kiss (because

she would always be his second love)           but there’s something about boys & their mums,
                                                                       men & their mothers – at least they knew who made
                                                                       heaven & earth, who turned down the covers &
                                                                       stoked the coal

Because together they kept a menagerie of pets, of dolls, of secrets, of tricks

(because she held séances for ten years after his death, then gave up, declaring that long enough
to wait for any man)

Because she knew he knew something about confinement: the milk can, the straightjacket, the
crate lowered into water, body manacled inside.

(because you will walk the darkness of the house in the absence of others and find any old thing,
and think: this will hold – this will fit.)

Because there will be times you will be both more & less than your body

when you will wonder what a shoulder socket can do, carefully trained; when you wonder what
                                                                       lungs can do, beyond full capacity; what playbills
                                                                       proclaim; when even your spouse will not know
                                                                       what you are capable of


C. Kubasta writes poetry, fiction, and hybrid forms. Her recent books are the poetry collection Of Covenants (Whitepoint Press), and the novels Girling (Brain Mill Press) and This Business of the Flesh (Apprentice House). Find her at and follow her on Twitter & IG @CKubastathePoet